THE PRINCE CHARLES MOUNTAINS
G. W. McKINNON
OFFICER ‑ IN ‑ CHARGE
[ Note : Graeme William McKinnon AM (1921-2000) - An Appreciation, by Des Lugg is available via this link ]
Narrative of Activities
Appendix A ‑ Aircraft
Appendix B ‑ Amenities
Appendix C ‑ Clothing and Field Equipment
Appendix D ‑ Communications
Appendix E - Food
Appendix F ‑ Geology
Appendix G ‑ Landing Bluff Base Camp
Appendix H ‑ Maps
Appendix I ‑ Mechanical Equipment and Maintenance
Appendix J - Medical Facilities
Appendix K - Photography
Appendix L - Survey
Appendix M ‑ Weather and Weather Facilities
THE PRINCE CHARLES MOUNTAINS SURVEY - 1969
The purpose of the operation was to carry out a tellurometer traverse from Rubeli Bluff in the Reinbolt Hills on the eastern side of the Amery Ice Shelf south to Pickering Nunatak then west across the Lambert Glacier to Fisher Massif in the Prince Charles Mountains and, if possible, extend through the mountains to Mount Wishart, the terminus of an earlier traverse from Mawson.
A second purpose of the work was to carry out a geological survey of the region with special emphasis on the sedimentary rocks in the Beaver Lake area.
The survey staff, employed by the Division of National Mapping, consisted of a surveyor and technical officer from Australia and the surveyor with the 1968 Mawson party. Four geologists from the Bureau of Mineral Resources were recruited for the three month round trip. Helicopter crews and ground staff were employed by Helicopter Utilities Ltd., and the Beaver pilot and ground engineer were employed by Hawker de Havilland Australia Pty Ltd. The Officer-in‑Charge and the Photographer were permanent officers of the Antarctic Division, Department of Supply and the remainder of the party were members of the 1969 ANARE party at Mawson.
The members of the party were (* indicates Group Leader) :
Technical Officer (Survey)
NARRATIVE OF ACTIVITIES
With the exception of M Rubeli, who was already at Mawson, the party left Melbourne on the MV Nella Dan on 20 December, 1968, together with one Beaver fixed wing aircraft and three Fairchild‑Hiller FH1100 helicopters and equipment and stores.
The ship arrived at Sandefjord Bay on 3 January, 1969, but pack ice prevented an approach closer than 15 miles from the front of the ice shelf on which it was planned to set up a base camp. Air reconnaissance showed that the sea ice was unsuitable for vehicles and a new site was selected from which the Beaver aircraft could be flown ashore. Overnight the ship was moved and the next morning unloading commenced. Helicopter VH‑UTZ was unloaded from Number 2 hatch and the blades attached. The Beaver was unloaded and the wings attached. McKinnon, Manning, McLeod, Grainger, J Bain, and Medvecky were flown in to a site on the ice shelf to commence establishing the base camp. On shore they were met by M Corry, J Sansom and A Nickols of the 1968 Amery Ice Shelf Party, who undertook to unload the aircraft while the camp was being established by the Prince Charles Mountains party. The party dug in tie downs for the Beaver which flew in later in the day. Mousinho and Tester joined the shore party. By evening sites had been selected and marked for buildings and dumps, three polar pyramid tents had been erected, an ice pit dug for the meat and a start made on sorting out the stores that had arrived during the day.
On the 5 January 1969, R Hayne, K Martin and D Edwards joined the shore party. Martin and Edwards commenced work on the radio masts. The Parcoll hut to be used as kitchen and mess was erected as well as four more polar pyramid tents. The weather deteriorated in the afternoon and snow and low ceiling stopped flying operations. The evening meal was cooked outside under appalling conditions.
The morale of the party was given a tremendous boost on 6 January 1969 by the arrival of W Cowell the cook. Others to come ashore were R Mitchell (to assist the Amery party with their vehicles), J Major (to make magnetic observations) J Fox, B Harriss and F Tarr. The radio masts were assembled and the second Parcoll hut erected. Collins from the Amery party assembled and started the diesel generator and connected it to the second Parcoll hut, where the non‑directional beacon was installed. Mitchell and Mousinho made a bench for the radio equipment. The second Parcoll lacked one section but this was remedied by using the cold porch as a living section and improvising a floor for the cold porch.
On 7 January 1969, the weather was fine and clear and suitable for flying operations. Major obtained magnetic measurements on Nickols Island and two radio masts were erected. McKinnon, McLeod, Medvecky, J Bain, Grainger, Mousinho and Tester flew to the ship to collect belongings. Mitchell and Tarr installed the gas stove in the mess Parcoll and later made benches and shelves in the kitchen area and in the cold porch. Cowell baked the first batch of bread. Martin and Major returned to the ship and C Bain, Bool, Moonie, Dart and Smith joined the party.
High cloud and whiteout conditions prevented air operations until 1600 hours on 8 January 1969. Because of shortness of time stores and fuel were flown to the Ice Shelf near the ship instead of to the base camp. Fox, Medvecky, Dart, Grainger and Smith went to the Shelf to load the Beaver. Stores were resorted and stacked. The third aerial mast was erected and the VHF radio and the flashing light beacon were put into operation. A snow wall was erected around the toilet in place of the survey screens used previously as Manning was sorting and packing out his equipment ready to move into the field. Eric Macklin flew in for a brief visit in the afternoon. At 2120 hours Manning and Dr Sansom from the Amery party went on a reconnaissance flight in the Beaver with Don Styles and the Captain. On the return flight the aircraft landed at G1 [the wintering site of the 1968 Amery Ice Shelf Project] and returned to Landing Bluff camp at 0017 hours (9 January 1969). Styles and the Captain stayed at the camp until 0051 hours when they were flown back to the ship. After finishing the unloading at the dump on the shelf, the three helicopters landed at the camp at 0330 hours. The arrival of Hunt, Else and Gaston brought our party to full strength.
A late start was made on 9 January 1969 because of the late arrival of the helicopters. The earth mat for the non directional beacon (NDB) was laid out and the NDB aerial erected. The masts were too light for the rather massive aerial array and bent rather alarmingly despite the guying. The NDB transmitter was tested and connected to the aerial; the signal appeared to be fairly satisfactory. The pilots had a rest day.
The weather was fine on the morning of 10 January 1969 and the Beaver with Manning as navigator and Corry and Hayne as passengers went on a flight to Spayd Island and then to G1 and return to test the NDB. On the outward flight Mousinho reported that the beacon was effective at 20 miles but on the return flight from G1 he reported that the effective range was only eight miles. Manning made a reconnaissance of the eastern side of the Amery Ice Shelf and a number of needed items were brought back from G1. A party of four, Dart, McLeod, Grainger and Medvecky went to the ice front depot and all general cargo was back‑loaded before whiteout stopped the helicopter flying. The Beaver returned at 1400 hours in the whiteout and Corry decided that conditions were too poor for him to leave to complete his survey. Conditions continued, too poor for shifting more cargo, but they were good enough to fly the four geologists, McLeod, Bain, Grainger and Medvecky with Hayne to Landing Bluff to examine the geology. Tarr and Gaston, the helicopter engineers constructed a workshop out of snow blocks to protect them from the wind.
The weather deteriorated during the night and the morning 11 January 1969 brought wind and driving snow which prevented all flying. Several inches of drift had accumulated and Manning and McKinnon checked all the store stacks and redug in some of the tents to prevent meltwater entering them. Some of the party built an igloo to allow the overflow from the mess to eat out of the wind. The structure was 12 feet diameter and twelve feet high. As Mawson reported a low of 965 millibar to the NW of them, Edwards, Dart and the helicopter group lowered the NDB aerial in case of a blow.
On 12 January 1969 it was decided to commence depoting fuel at Manning Nunataks. Departure was a little delayed by the decision to get the fuel from No.2 dump on the shelf. With Manning as navigator, the three helicopters left carrying two 44 gallon drums slung and a 25 gallon drum in the cabin. After receipt of a favourable report on the ice surface as a landing ground, the Beaver flew to Manning Nunataks with two 44 gallon drums. He reported that he was unable to ignite his engine. Manning stayed with the Beaver while the helicopters returned to Landing Bluff. Two helicopters then went back with the Beaver engineer, a battery cart and 25 gallons of fuel. The fault was corrected in half an hour and all aircraft returned to Landing Bluff.
Mawson's weather report on 13 January 1969 made a flight there out of the question. It was decided to move the Geology party into Beaver Lake. The party ‑ A Medvecky, J Dart and C Bain left in the three helicopters via Manning Nunataks. The refuelling there was delayed by the lack of a standpipe on the drum pump. The Beaver, carrying the Snow Cruiser, eleven jerry cans of fuel and sundries, dropped in the standpipe and the party and equipment were later all landed safely at Beaver Lake. The pilots reported 30 knot winds and a rough landing. All aircraft returned at 1800 hours. The roof of the igloo collapsed just after dinner as the result of heavy ablation during the sunny day.
Flying commenced on 14 January 1969 about 0920 hours when Manning and Moonie (Survey Party One) were flown to the rock [now Mousinho Rock] just south of Gillock Island. Fox and Grainger (Survey Party Two) were later flown to Rubeli Bluff in the Reinbolt Hills. McLeod and J Bain were landed at the same island [now Mousinho Rock] as Manning and later were flown to Spayd Island and Gillock Island to examine the geology. During the day the Beaver with Mitchell (Flight 1), Nickols (Flight 2) and Sansom (Flight 3) flew in 8 x 44 gallon drums and one 25 gallon drum to the Manning Nunataks depot. After the return of the geological party, Collins and Mitchell were flown to the broken down Nodwell belonging to the Amery Ice Shelf party.
The whole of the 15 January 1969 was spent carrying fuel from Dumps 1 and 2 to Landing Bluff. A total of 42 drums was brought in. The Beaver left for Mawson at 11‑25 hours with Corry and Tester, picked up Rubeli and his survey equipment and arrived back at Landing Bluff at 1655. Corry reported that the Nella Dan had not arrived in Mawson Harbour. On the evening radio sked Manning advised that he wished to move Fox to Manning Nunataks and position Rubeli at Pickering Nunatak.
On the 16 January 1969 the weather was overcast with whiteout and drifting snow which made flying impossible, so it was declared a rest day for the pilots. Checked the guys on the tents, Parcoll huts and masts. Manning reported that he had erected an eight foot high rock cairn and did not require the metal beacon. Received a message from Don Styles to say that the Nella Dan had left Mawson after a brief changeover.
The weather had cleared on the morning of 17 January 1969. Corry with Sansom, Nickols and our Cook Cowell, left to continue Corry's tellurometer traverse from Landing Bluff to G1. Three helicopters took Rubeli and J Bain (Survey Party 3) to Pickering Nunatak and then moved Fox and Grainger (Survey Party 2) to New Year Nunatak in the Manning Nunataks. The Beaver was out of service due to the 50 hourly inspection. In the absence of Cowell in the field Mousinho and McKinnon cooked the meals and Harriss baked the bread. On the evening radio sked Manning asked to be moved to Fisher Massif.
The next day (18 January 1969) Survey Party 1 (Manning and Moonie) was moved from the island [Mousinho Rock] south of Gillock Island to Fisher Massif. The Beaver flew in fuel to New Year Nunatak and left Hayne to spend a few days and later flew a depot run to Beaver Lake this time with McLeod as passenger. He later returned to Landing Bluff by helicopter, examining the geology of the Jetty Peninsula area.
The survey parties did not require any moves on 19 January 1969. McLeod and McKinnon examined the geology of rock outcrops between the northern Reinbolt Hills and Collins Nunatak. A depot flight by the Beaver to New Year Nunatak brought back Hayne. A second depot flight to same place was made with Edwards as passenger. Manning reported that he had obtained forward and reverse tellurometer readings to Pickering Nunataks as well as reciprocal vertical angles but he had not been able to read horizontal angles. A narrow crevasse was noticed extending towards the northern side of the camp from Nickols Island.
The survey parties did not require any moves again on 20 January 1969. McLeod flew in one helicopter to examine the geology between Mount Caroline Mikkelsen and Landing Bluff. Although weather conditions were not the best, the Beaver took off with two drums of fuel with Hayne as passenger for Beaver Lake. The aircraft returned half an hour out because of whiteout conditions over Beaver Lake.
Complete overcast and whiteout conditions prevailed on 21 January 1969 and this prevented flying throughout the day. Corry [with Dr Sansom] had moved down the shelf to his station T2 and partly completed a tellurometer measurement to Survey Party 2 at New Year Nunatak. Work was commenced on a new meat pit as the original one was ablating and the food stacks were tidied up as they had been undermined on the northern side by ablation.
The Beaver flew to G1 to pick up Cowell on the 22 January 1969 and brought back medical and other equipment required by Davis. Survey Party 2 reported that they were almost ready to be moved to Martin Ridge, but the weather closed in and prevented further flying.
Thursday 23 January 1969 dawned fine and clear. After an early breakfast two helicopters took off for New Year Nunatak with Edwards to repair an unserviceable radio with Survey Party 2. On arrival one aircraft took Grainger on taxi flights to examine the rocks of the Manning Nunataks, then he and Fox were flown to Beaver Lake depot for onward movement to Martin Ridge. On the first attempt, heavy cloud prevented a landing on Martin Ridge so they returned to Beaver Lake to await improvement. The helicopters then made a flight to Fisher Massif with food and fuel for Manning and Moonie. After consultation with McKinnon, it was decided to land Fox and Grainger on a high ridge west of Beaver Lake in the hope that it was intervisible with Fisher Massif and Mount McCarthy. The Beaver took Hayne to Beaver Lake, where he was to spend some time photographing the work. It then returned to Landing Bluff via New Year Nunatak where it picked up Edwards. In the afternoon the Beaver did another fuel run to Beaver Lake with Bool as passenger.
The weather was again fine on 24 January 1969 so it was decided to move Rubeli and J Bain from Pickering Nunatak to Mount McCarthy. Because of the quantity of equipment, they had, three helicopters were used for the move. One hour was spent on geological work and then the party was moved through New Year Nunatak and Beaver Lake to Mount McCarthy. Unfortunately, the party could only be landed about one mile from and 1,500 feet below the summit. This meant a hard climb each day to the survey station.
The Beaver with Bool as passenger depoted two drums at Beaver Lake. In the afternoon, the Beaver took two more drums to Beaver Lake with McLeod as passenger and then went to New Year Nunatak where some depoted equipment and specimens were picked up and McLeod obtained a gravity measurement. Collins and Mitchell arrived with one Nodwell and train at about 0730.
On the 25 January 1969 the Beaver flew Mitchell to the farthest Nodwell site to recover a pinion shaft. On the return flight it called at G1 and brought back a load of RTA (Return To Australia) equipment. In the morning McLeod, Edwards and McKinnon were flown to No.1 dump to load 23 drums of fuel for Landing Bluff. In the afternoon, Mitchell and Collins were flown 30 miles to the nearest Nodwell. It took two flights of two helicopters to move the men and equipment. The third helicopter flew McLeod to Sansom Island and Bosun Island for geological investigations.
Three helicopters took off early on 26 January 1969 for Fisher Massif via Beaver Lake with a 25 gallon drum of fuel on board each aircraft. Fuel was topped up at Beaver Lake and Fisher Massif and Survey Party 1 (Manning and Moonie) and their equipment was flown direct to Mount Wishart. The aircraft were fuelled from the dump laid down by Hamm in 1968 and returned via Beaver lake. The Beaver depoted 2 x 44 gallon and one 25 gallon drum in the morning with Tester as passenger and the same in the afternoon with Gaston as passenger.
On the morning radio sked with Beaver Lake on 27 January 1969 their radio became unserviceable so a replacement was sent out with a fuel depoting run in the Beaver. K Smith went as passenger and dropped a message to the Beaver Lake party telling them about the new radio. McLeod went as far as the Bolingen Islands on geological investigations. In the afternoon, the Beaver made three flights to G1 to recover equipment for Corry. McKinnon went on one flight and Edwards on the other two. All Corry's cargo was recovered except his ice cores, and heavy equipment to be brought out with the Nodwell.
Tuesday 28 January 1969 was completely overcast and unsuitable for flying operations. It had been planned to fly the Beaver to Mawson to take out Bool and Smith and to bring back Blake and Hamm but because of the weather, Mawson was advised that the flight was off. Advice was received in the evening that Nella Dan had left Fremantle. Corry advised that he would arrive next morning to dig an ice hole for his cores, about which he was becoming anxious. McKinnon and Hayne commenced the pit in the morning so there would be little for Corry to do.
Whiteout conditions prevailed again on 29 January 1969 so there was still no flying. Corry and Sansom arrived at 0700 hours and after some sleep, he, Hayne, Edwards and McKinnon completed the ice pit to six feet deep, six feet wide and twelve feet long. In view of the below freezing temperatures then prevailing, Corry felt this was adequate.
On 30 January 1969 Mawson's weather was 8/8 cloud which precluded a flight there. The weather at Landing Bluff improved by 1000 hours and two helicopters flew out to the Nodwell with the old differential, a new axle and some food.
Corry, McLeod, Hayne and Tester flew in the Beaver to Dump No.1 to load fuel on to the Beaver. By 1700 hours the remaining 42 drums had been landed at Landing Bluff. It had taken all day and much physical effort but it had been done at the cost of 3 drums of fuel, a considerable saving on use of helicopters for the same job. During unloading operations 9 a drum slipped and damaged the wing strut. After dinner Tester examined the damage and declared the aircraft unserviceable unless otherwise advised by Hawker de Havilland. An Antemerg signal was sent to Dalton [Antarctic Division Aviation Officer] asking for advice.
On the 31 January 1969 with the Beaver unserviceable little was planned except for McLeod to blast samples from Sansom Island, however the weather deteriorated again and this was prevented. Hunt, Harriss, Tarr and McKinnon constructed a new toilet from snow blocks. On the evening sked, Manning asked if Rubeli could be landed at Jetty Peninsula on his flight to Landing Bluff for a tellurometer measurement to Survey 2.
Low cloud and whiteout prevented flying again on 1 February 1969. A long signal was sent to Don Styles giving details of our activities for a Press Release. Advice received from Dalton that the Beaver had been cleared for a further 50 hours flying.
Weather was even worse on 2 February 1969 when 8/8 cloud and whiteout prevented flying, although the field parties reported good weather. Weather improved about 2300 hours, too late to fly.
The aircraft were grounded all day 3 February 1969 because of whiteout conditions and 8/8 cloud.
Low cloud and whiteout again prevented flying in the morning of 4 February 1969 but after lunch the weather improved and the three helicopters flew to Mount McCarthy to evacuate Rubeli and J Bain. At Beaver Lake camp John Bain was dropped and Chris Bain was picked up. A stop was made at Jetty Peninsula and Rubeli obtained a tellurometer measurement to Fox's camp, and the helicopters then returned to Landing Bluff. The Beaver with Tester and Hayne flew to Mount Wishart and brought back Manning and Moonie. Because of weight, a Beche tent was depoted at Mount Wishart. Mousinho was not impressed with Mount Wishart/Moore Pyramid as a base next year.
On Wednesday 5 February 1969 the weather was clear and cold (4°F) and after receipt of Mawson's weather, the Beaver took off for Mawson with Manning, Tester, Moonie, Bool and Hayne. The plane returned six hours later with Manning and Tester. Three helicopters took off for Survey Party 2 to pick up Fox and Grainger but after fuelling at Beaver Depot found the turbulence was too severe to land so waited until 1700 hours when they picked up the party and flew into Beaver Lake camp to pick up some meteorological equipment. It was found that one machine (VH‑UHD) had broken an oil seal and it had to be left there. The other two machines returned to Landing Bluff. The Nodwell coming in from G1 broke a fan belt 15 miles from Landing Bluff. Corry and Sansom went out on Snow Cruisers with spare belts. The Nodwell and train arrived at 1730 hours with Collins, Mitchell and Nickols on board.
The Beaver left at 0930 hours on 6th February 1969 with Corry, Manning, Rubeli and Grainger for G1 to load the ice cores, which were flown to Landing Bluff in four flights. Sansom flew out on one flight to photograph the loading operations. Two helicopters with Tarr and Gaston and some supplies for Beaver Lake flew there where strong winds were encountered. The unserviceable aircraft was repaired under difficult conditions and all three machines, bringing back some equipment from Beaver Lake camp landed at 1900 hours. Corry's cores were put into the pit that had been dug for them and covered with snow. The Micromet caravan from G1 was cleaned out and placed opposite the Mess Parcoll to accommodate the overflow at meal times.
There was little activity on 7 February 1969 except general camp duties and some mechanical repairs. McLeod, Grainger and Sansom went to Sansom Island to blast off specimens for radioactive dating. Manning went with then in the afternoon.
Friday 8 February 1969 was also spent on camp duties, with Manning sorting out the survey gear. The sea ice broke to within ten miles of the ice front.
Bad weather on Sunday 9 February 1969 prevented all but camp duties. There was some improvement in the weather on the 10 February 1969. A party of six examined the sea ice in the bay below the camp. It seemed to be held in place by a large iceberg. There was quite a bit of movement in the ice which was cut by a series of narrow cracks parallel to the coast. The ice was over six feet thick with about two feet of hard ice. After dinner the iceberg moved out without warning, taking about 200 yards of sea ice with it.
There was again no flying on 11 February 1969 because of poor visibility.
By 1100 hours on 12 February 1969, the pilots agreed that the weather was good enough to evacuate the Beaver Lake party about which we were becoming anxious. The three helicopters and the Beaver flew in. The former went right to the camp and the latter to the depot 10 miles away. Two of the helicopters took J Bain and Medvecky on geological work while the third flew out equipment to the Beaver. While slinging out the motor toboggan, a malfunction of the cargo hook caused the toboggan to fall 300 feet to the moraine. Dart went back to recover anything he could from the wreckage but it had completely disintegrated and he could find nothing of value. The presence of spilled petrol was also a danger with the turbine of the helicopter so he abandoned any further search. Deterioration of the weather at Landing Bluff caused the taxi work with the geologists to be cut short and the aircraft all returned to the base.
The weather was good on the morning of 13 February 1969 so it was decided to move the survey parties out again in an effort to extend the tellurometer line from the Larsemann Hills to Davis. Manning and K. Smith (Survey Party 1) went to Mount Carline Mikkelsen. Fox and Grainger (Survey Party 2) went by Beaver to Larsemann Hills and Corry and Sansom (Survey Party 4) went by helicopter to Amanda Bay.
The weather was good again on 14 February 1969 although strong winds were experienced during the night. The Nella Dan on her way from Mawson to Sandefjord Bay reported that she had encountered strong winds during the night which had delayed her slightly. The ship arrived at about 1230 hours. McKinnon and Dart flew aboard. Dart collected the mail and McKinnon conferred with Macklin. Medical and other equipment for Davis was flown aboard and 20 drums of helicopter ATK were flown ashore. Mitchell joined the ship so that he could assist with the reopening of Davis. The Soviet Expedition ship Ob entered Sandefjord Bay and spoke to Nella Dan on 500 Kc/s. After the departure of the Nella Dan Survey Party 3 (Rubeli and J Bain) were flown to Filla Island in the Rauer Group, Survey Party 1 (Manning and Smith) were flown from Mount Caroline Mikkelsen back to Landing Bluff and Survey Party 4 (Corry and Sansom) were moved from the vicinity of Amanda Bay to the ice plateau about 15 miles to the north to ensure intervisibility with Survey Party 3. The Beaver depoted 8 x 44 gallon drums and 2 x 25 gallon drums at Larsemann Hills in four flights. Passengers on the flights were Medvecky, Nickols and Edwards (twice).
On 15 February 1969 McLeod and Medvecky were flown across to Landing Bluff to blast off specimens for age determination. Survey party 1 (Manning and Smith) were flown to the Vestfold Hills and on the return journey Survey Party 4 (Corry and Sansom) were brought back to Landing Bluff. The NDB aerial was pulled down.
Low cloud and whiteout conditions prevailed all day on 16 February 1969 and prevented flying.
After a heavy snow fall during the night, snow continued to fall on the morning of 17 February 1969 causing drift, which penetrated some boxes of stores which had to be cleaned out. Although there was some cloud clearance on the northern and southern horizons in the afternoon, no flying was possible.
Ground drift around the camp on 18 February 1969 again penetrated the boxes, which could not be made driftproof. By 1100 hours, the drift has ceased and the pilots agreed to fly. Three machines with McLeod as passenger flew to Filla Island. Two of the aircraft took McLeod and J Bain on geological investigations around the Rauer Group while the third flew Rubeli and some of his gear to the Nella Dan at Davis. It then flew Manning who with Smith had walked into Davis from their camp site, to his camp site to pick up the remainder of his gear. McLeod and Bain, and the remainder of the camp gear, were flown from Filla Island to Davis, where Bain joined the ship. All three aircraft flew with McLeod to the Larsemann Hills where they picked up Survey Party 2 (Fox and Grainger). After geological taxi work around the Larsemann Hills they moved to the Bolingen Islands and then returned to the Landing Bluff camp. All field parties had now been returned to the base camp or were on board the Nella Dan. The two masts that had been used for the NDB aerial were lowered without mishap.
Wednesday 19 February 1969 was spent packing stores for loading despite snow and windy conditions.
The weather was somewhat better on 20 February 1969 although some snow had fallen overnight. Packing was completed except for items still in use. Macklin advised that the Nella Dan was expected to reach Sandefjord Bay about 0830 the next day. The tie down points were checked and survey beacons erected at the two northern ones. The Southern tie downs were not marked because of the presence of an iceberg in the small bay where they were situated.
The Nella Dan arrived at the tie down point at about 0900 hours and cargo began to be moved there for loading. The Beaver was taxied down for loading on No.3 hatch.
About 1100 hours the ship had to slip its moorings and take to sea because the iceberg from the small bay to the south had moved out and was encroaching on it. All buildings and tents had been pulled down and the last mast dropped and all cargo and equipment except the three helicopters and 13 drums of fuel had been moved to the ice front by 1830 hours, when the Prince Charles Mountains party and the Amery Ice Shelf party climbed aboard by a rope ladder over the bow of the ship. After dinner the Nodwells, the heavy RTA cargo and the Beaver were loaded aboard. The helicopter to be loaded on No.2 hatch (VH‑UTZ) was flown to the ship by Hunt in failing light and also loaded. The ship was then forced to leave its moorings again by the return of the iceberg which was moving back with the tide. There still remained two helicopters and the stores at the ice front, but this marked the conclusion of the Prince Charles Mountains Survey for 1969. Four days later, after loading all the stores and equipment, the ship sailed for Mawson.
The survey work accomplished by the Prince Charles Mountains Survey Party in 1969 exceeded the original plan and must be considered highly successful. The geological work was also very successful although more could have been accomplished with more time and helicopter availability.
The success was due to several factors of which the most important was probably the enthusiasm and co‑operation of the whole party. The drive and leadership of the leaders of the different sections and the remarkable serviceability of the aircraft contributed much to the result.
For reasons of logistics, surveyors and geologists were combined in two of the parties. As the survey work was completed relatively quickly and the surveyor desired to move on to his next station, the geologist sometimes felt that he had not had sufficient time at the surrounding rock outcrops to which he was taken by helicopter. Where a further move had to be undertaken some distance from the base camp, the amount of elapsed time allocated to geology had necessarily to be restricted.
Although logistically more expensive, some consideration could be given in future operations to separating the survey and geological parties so that they may proceed at their own pace.
I would like to express my grateful thanks for the cooperation and assistance given to me by the Prince Charles Mountains Party, (especially John Manning, Ian McLeod, Peter Hunt and Tony Mousinho) Don Styles, Eric Macklin, Alan Humphries, Max Corry and the Amery Party, Tim Cassidy and the 1969 Mawson Party and Captain Hansen and the officers and crew of the Nella Dan.
Four aircraft were taken on the Prince Charles Mountains Survey ‑ 1969, three Fairchild‑Hiller FH1100 helicopters (VH‑UTZ, VH‑UHD, VH‑UHE) and a Hawker de Havilland turbine powered Beaver (VH-VKL). Two of the aircraft, VH‑UHD and VH‑UHE were equipped with floats and the third aircraft was fitted with skis. While not affecting the payload, the floats reduced the speed of the aircraft, made them more difficult to load and on a few occasions prevented landing on rough rock areas.
The Beaver was fitted with ski wheel assembly which proved satisfactory for all operations. Low pressure skis which were taken on the operation, were not fitted.
The serviceability of the aircraft was outstanding. One helicopter (VH‑UDE) was unserviceable for one day due to hydraulics failure and the Beaver was unserviceable for about three hours due to inability to start in the field. This record, while undoubtedly being due to the inherent qualities of the machines was also contributed to by the conscientious work of the ground engineers, who often worked late in the evening in sub freezing temperatures to ensure that the aircraft were serviceable the next day.
The pilots gave the OIC complete cooperation without which the operation would not have been a success.
A summary of aircraft usage and hours flown by ANARE personnel are given below.
SUMMARY OF AIRCRAFT USAGE DURING
THE PRINCE CHARLES MOUNTAINS SURVEY.
USE BEAVER HELICOPTERS TOTAL
Hrs.Mins Hrs.Mins Hrs.Mins
Camp Establishment and Fuel 14‑15 148‑52 163‑07
Field Depots 40‑55 14‑15 55‑10
Assistance to Amery Ice Shelf 13‑10 9‑36 22‑46
Survey/Geology * 1‑35 79‑46 81‑21
Survey 4-30 52‑21 56‑51
Geology 6‑35 50-26 57‑01
Miscellaneous 5‑10 14‑20 19‑30
Mawson Ferry Flights 9‑50 9-50
Aborted Flights 1‑05 1-05
Backloading Ship 9-12 9-12
TOTAL 97‑05 378‑48 475‑53
* Includes limited geological taxi work at Haigh Ntks, New Year Ntk, and Corry Rocks.
HOURS FLOWN BY ANARE PERSONNEL AT LANDING BLUFF
NAME JANUARY FEBRUARY TOTAL
Hrs.Mins Hrs.Mins Hrs.Mins
G, McKinnon 4-15 0‑25 4‑40
J. Manning 12‑35 10‑55 23‑30
J. Fox 2‑55 2‑25 5‑20
I. McLeod 13‑30 4‑45 18‑15
J. Bain 9‑25 4‑45 14‑10
D. Grainger 4‑35 4‑05 8‑35
A. Medvecky 3-55 2‑25 6‑20
D. Edwards 6‑40 6‑40
P. Moonie 4_05 4_50 8‑55
J. Dart 3‑05 2‑20 5‑25
K. Smith 3‑15 2 40 5-55
R. Hayne 7‑20 7‑05 14‑25
R. Mitchell 5‑35 0‑20 5‑55
W. Cowell 0‑50 0‑50
G. Bool 4‑50 2‑35 7‑25
C. Bain 2‑15 1‑40 3‑55
M. Corry 8‑10 1‑40 9‑50
J. Sansom 5‑10 1‑25 6‑35
A. Nickols 2‑30 2‑30
N, Collins 3‑00 0‑15 3‑15
M. Rubeli 7‑30 3‑15 10‑45
Amenities provided for the Prince Charles Mountains Survey Party were a selection of indoor games, paper back books, Beer, Wine, Soft drink, Cigarettes and Tobacco, Chocolate and Rum (for field use). The Amery Ice Shelf party provided more Cigarettes and some Toffees.
It is difficult to make much useful comment on the amenities because individual tastes varied. In general terms it can be said that dark chocolate was less popular than other varieties and perhaps the proportion of this type could be reduced. Rothmans were the most popular brand of cigarettes and it was this brand that was obtained from the Amery party. The least popular brands were Ardath Country Life, State Express and Escort.
Most members of the party felt that the Beer ration was adequate but the helicopter pilots felt that the ration could be larger, The Wine ration allowed wine to be served one night a week.
The Amery party lent the PCM party a Philips portable Tape Recorder and a number of prerecorded tapes. This was very much appreciated by all and it is recommended that some such equipment be provided for any party expected to stay in an isolated locality for some time.
Unfortunately, crime stories and science fiction predominated among the paper backs provided and this type of book appealed to a minority of the party. A broader selection of books is recommended.
CLOTHING AND FIELD EQUIPMENT
Detailed comments on the clothing and field equipment have been received from Messrs McLeod, Grainger and J Bain. These comments have been studied by the STO (F & C) and have been the subject of a meeting between the Acting Deputy Director, Antarctic Division, the Senior Engineer, Antarctic Division, the STO (F & C) and the Officer‑in‑Charge Prince Charles Mountains Surveys 1969. (Antarctic Division File 361/1/5).
Before departure from Australia, field equipment was packed ready for use by four survey parties of two men each and one geological party of three men. On arrival at Sandefjord Bay, six men were put ashore to set up the camp and the Beaver crew flew ashore. The shore party lived in polar pyramid tents and, because no provision had been for camping facilities at the base camp, the above kits had to be broken into for stoves, plates, cutlery, metatabs, matches, paper towelling etc. Before the kitchen in the Parcoll hut was in operation on the fourth day there were 26 people being cooked for in the open (this included the four Amery party). Before the field parties went out the equipment had to be sorted and repacked.
Because the Seatainer in which the field equipment had been packed could not be landed at the base camp, the loose items it contained were hurriedly packed in any available boxes and cartons on the ship. This resulted in delays in finding certain items and made it difficult to control field stores. In future field equipment should be packed in boxes within the Seatainer.
The damp snow conditions encountered at the base camp caused difficulties with footwear. It has been decided that men will have a choice of thermal boots or mukluks and that adequate spare mukluks and felt insoles will be held at the base camp.
It was fortunate that thirty new sleeping bags were purchased for the Prince Charles Mountains survey as experience showed some of the older bags to be in very poor condition. On direction of the Expedition Leader, ten of the new bags were left at Mawson. It cannot be stressed too strongly that all bags sent next year should be carefully examined before packing and that only 100% serviceable bags be sent.
Down clothing was not needed in 1969 but it could be necessary when operations penetrate deeper into the mountains. Adequate stocks of first class down clothing should be held at the base camp for issue if necessary.
Through an error, the wrong type of mittens were issued. Action has been taken to ensure that the correct type are issued in future. Adequate stocks of instrument gloves and Canadian trail mitts will be held at the base camp. Kerosene resistant gloves will be available for fuelling operations.
Trouble was experienced with the kerosene stoves. In future two stoves with adequate spares should be provided each field party.
Ventile windproof clothing was found to be too bulky for cargo handling in bad weather. In future, lightweight windproofs will be issued in addition to ventiles. These will be returned to store on completion of the operation.
Some complaints were received about the sleeping mats provided. It is understood that some foam camping mattresses will be available in 1970 for trial.
The work of the field parties is arduous and entails some risk. All equipment should be in first class condition and adjustments and repairs made in Australia before departure.
Radio equipment at the base camp at Landing Bluff consisted of one Granger Model 174‑2 High frequency transceiver, one AWA HF Teleradio, one Pye VHF transceiver and a medium frequency nondirectional beacon transmitter.
Field parties were equipped with Granger Model 175‑4 HF portable transceivers. Aircraft were equipped with HF and VHF transceivers and a radio compass.
Frequencies available were 2720 KHz, 3023.5 KHz, 4040 KHz, 5400 KHz, and 121.5 MHz. It had been planned to use 2720 KHz for communications with the field parties, 4040 KHz and 121.5 KHz for aircraft and 5400 KHz for the link to Mawson. Experience showed that 2720 KHz to be unsatisfactory and on most occasions 4040 KHz was used although this caused the undesirable situation of working on aircraft frequencies. 5400 KHz proved a satisfactory alternative frequency when 4040 KHz could not be used, especially at night when a Russian domestic station caused interference. Mawson did not receive their 5400 KHz crystal until some time after establishment of the Landing Bluff camp and 4040 KHz was mostly used for contacts with them. Some difficulty was experienced in netting with Mawson's frequency at times as the clarifier on the Granger set did not have enough tolerance. The VHF frequency was very satisfactory and was used at ranges up to 100 miles depending on the height of the aircraft.
The Granger field sets proved quite satisfactory, giving good results for distances up to 200 miles from the base. Some mechanical problems were experienced with the aerial connectors and the microphone connectors and the small neon tube associated with the internal batteries had to be shorted out on some sets. The SSB mode was very satisfactory and it was found that if contact could not be made on SSB, conditions were also too poor for CW. Some difficulty was experienced by the pilot in reading AM signals from the field parties.
The Granger base set was found to have a burnt out power transistor and a replacement was flown in from Mawson. Later a fault developed in the balancing circuit and lack of test equipment made it impossible to repair the fault. The SSB 100 transceiver from the Amery Ice Shelf party was substituted.
The AWA Teleradio was completely satisfactory and was used for all HF contact with the aircraft.
Of the four parties in the field, two had radio operators. In the light of experience with the Granger radios using SSB it may not be necessary to include operators in future parties provided that the field personnel are given some instruction in the use of the sets before going into the field. It became apparent that the operator at the base needs to have experience at controlling aircraft movements.
There was no day when contact was not made with each of the field parties although in one case a Tellurometer channel had to be used to make contact.
The survey parties had lead acid batteries and Honda battery chargers for use with the Tellurometers and these were used as external batteries for the radios. The geological party at Beaver Lake had a small TAS generator and a lead acid battery. While the TAS charger gave satisfactory service in the conditions encountered it had to be fuelled every 20 minutes. It is recommended that Honda chargers be supplied for field parties.
Batteries for the base camp radio were charged by a Vane charger working on 240 volts AC supplied by the 3 KW Braybon alternator set. Radio interference from the alternator meant that it had to be turned off during radio contacts.
The least satisfactory piece of radio equipment was the MF non‑directional beacon. The physical size of the transmitter caused some problems of handling and housing and the massive nature of the aerial array combined with the flimsy supporting masts resulted in the vertical section of the antenna being only about 30‑40 [feet] long with consequent poor radiation. The NDB was effective for only 8 miles from Landing Bluff. By comparison, the Mawson Beacon was effective for 60 miles. It was felt that a better result would have been obtained by top loading one of the masts but this was not tried.
The food supplied to the Prince Charles Mountains Survey party was adequate in quantity, quality and variety. The food was based on a proportion of the ANARE ration scale with some deletions and some additions. In addition, ANARE 12 man day packs and Australiana Army 10 man day packs were taken for field use.
The following comments are offered for guidance in future planning of such operations.
The meat was precut in Australia and each box contained a selection of cuts. Meat must be precut but the selection in the individual boxes was more designed for a smaller party than the maximum number of 27 at Landing Bluff. This resulted in several boxes having to be opened to get sufficient of one type of meat for a meal.
The bacon rashers supplied in plastic packs of ½lb were very popular with the field parties.
FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES :
The potatoes, carrots and onions lasted for several weeks and the apples, oranges and grapefruit lasted the whole period.
Probably through an oversight in the turmoil of unloading no cheese was supplied. Some tinned cheddar cheese was obtained from the Amery Ice Shelf and was well received.
CANNED MEAT :
Canned meat was generally used for the midday meal and sometimes sliced and fried for breakfast. Ox and lamb tongues were not used at all and could well be omitted.
COOKING FATS AND OILS :
None was supplied. Some oil obtained from Nella Dan was not liked because of its taste. Several tins of peanut oil were obtained from the Amery Ice Shelf Party.
INSTANT POTATO :
Instant potato ran out after six weeks. Some more was obtained from Mawson.
The quantity of flour was cut by half in Melbourne before a cook was appointed. Bread making used most of the flour. A full ratio scale should be taken.
None was supplied. Some was obtained from Amery.
ICE CREAM MIX :
Not very practical at the temperatures encountered most of the time.
Only tomato sauce was supplied. Some hot sauces were obtained from the Ship.
Always popular. The packet soups were much in demand by the field parties.
Only red currant jelly and plum was supplied. Suggest some marmalade might be useful.
FRUIT JUICES :
Much in demand especially by field parties. Grapefruit and tomato not popular. Pineapple and Apricot most popular.
Coffee percolators were supplied but no ground coffee. Some obtained from Amery. Instant coffee would otherwise have been short.
Sugar was just adequate.
Both table and cooking salt in short supply. Some cooking salt obtained from Amery. Ration of 1lb table salt per man/year seems light.
Tandaco packet yeast was supplied in insufficient quantities (12 packets). Dribarm yeast was obtained from Amery.
Because of the availability of transport, the ration packs were used as the basic field ration to which was added other items. One party only (Manning and Moonie) were enthusiastic about H6 meat bars. One comment was that the ANARE pack lacked tea and that the Army pack had insufficient coffee. The twelve pound weight penalty carried by the Army pack was a factor in it being left out when weight was tight.
It is expected that a detailed report of the geological work will be published by Mr I R McLeod, Bureau of Mineral Resources, senior geologist with Prince Charles Mountains survey 1969.
The most detailed geological work was carried out by Mr A Medvecky, who spent a month in the Beaver Lake - Radok Lake area investigating the sedimentary rocks of the area which included coal seams and fossil beds of Permian age.
Messrs J Bain and D Grainger accompanied the survey parties and investigated the rocks in the vicinity of the survey stations and to a limited extent the surrounding countryside using helicopters for taxi work. The localities investigated were Reinbolt Hills, Gillock Island, New Year Nunatak, Haigh Nunatak, Pickering Nunatak, Ridge west of Radok Lake, Mount McCarthy, Larsemann Hills and the Rauer Group.
Mr McLeod independently investigated the rocks around Landing Bluff, Sansom Island, Nickols Island, Bosun Island, northern Reinbolt Hills, Mistichelli Hills, Statler Hills, Collins Nunatak, and rock outcrops between Landing Bluff and the southern Bolingen Islands, including Mount Caroline Mikkelsen.
Rock collections included a number of specimens of fresh rock for radioactive age determinations. In all a total of approximately 1½ tons of specimens were collected. These will be subjected to laboratory examination by the Bureau of Mineral Resources.
LANDING BLUFF CAMP
The base camp was situated on the Amery Ice Shelf about 1½ miles from Landing Bluff and about 1½ miles from the ice front near Nickols Island at an elevation of 70 feet above sea level.
In the initial stages, accommodation consisted of seven polar pyramid tents and two Parcoll housing units, one 18' x 8' plus cold porch and the other 15' x 8', including cold porch.
Inability to land a small laboratory intended to be used as a kitchen resulted in the cooking being done in the larger of the Parcoll units which was also used for eating and general purposes. This restricted the number that could be comfortably accommodated to about 16. As the number of people at the camp before the field parties went out was 27, the overflow ate in the open or in igloo which was built nearby.
The second Parcoll unit housed six of the aircrew the NDB transmitter and the radio station. Radio operations interfered somewhat with the pilot’s rest and the radio was later moved into a caravan brought in from the Amery Ice Shelf party.
The polar pyramid tents housed up to three people each.
Meat was stored in an ice pit approximately six feet deep and ten feet long with shelves dug into the sides. It was covered with timber and the unused end of a Parcoll unit.
Other food and general stores were stacked in rows resting on timber. Ablation caused frequent collapse of the stacks, while in the last week, drift entered some of the boxes.
With the withdrawal of equipment from G1, two fibreglass caravans, the Micromet hut and a shower hut were brought to Landing Bluff. As mentioned above, one caravan was used for radio, the other housed members of the Amery Party. The Micromet hut was used for the overflow from the mess hut. Hot water for the shower hut was provided by an improvised water heater made of 44 gallon drums and copper pipe and using the dregs of the ATK left after fuelling the aircraft.
Water for the camp was obtained from a melt lake near Nickols Island, about 1½ miles away and carried in plastic cans in a Snow Trac left at the camp by the Amery party.
Cooking was done on a large domestic gas stove using Heatane gas. With the maximum population in camp, the stove was barely adequate. The three cylinders of gas supplied were used in 5½ weeks, but further supplies were obtained from the Amery party.
No heating was provided in the tents but the huts were heated after 1 February 1969 by kerosene Cosyglo heaters. An electric heater provided was installed in the pilots Parcoll but because of electrical interference to the radio by the generator, its use was intermittent.
Some difficulties were experienced in the first few days at Landing Bluff due to the fact that field equipment had to be used for cooking and eating. As this equipment had been sorted and packed for parties of two or three several bags had to be broached to get sufficient equipment, they later had to be repacked. In such a set up, camping equipment should be available for the base camp as well for the field parties.
In addition to the electrical interference mentioned above, the 3 kw. Braybon high speed diesel generator was difficult to start without preheating at temperatures below about 20°F
Maps were specially prepared for the Prince Charles Mountains survey by the Antarctic Mapping Branch of the Division of National Mapping. They consisted of three sheets at 1: 500,000 scale and two sheets of the northern Prince Charles Mountains at 1: 200,000 scale. All maps were provided with a common grid for use with aircraft navigation.
The grid was most useful with the Beaver fixed wing aircraft and was not much used by the helicopters whose flying was mostly done by visual recognition of features. There was some minor criticism of the change of scale in the maps.
One dozen copies of each map was supplied at Landing Bluff but this quantity proved inadequate. It is recommended that at least double that quantity be provided by the Antarctic Division for any future operation of this nature.
Some criticism was received about the wrong position of features on the map, especially on the eastern side of the Amery Ice Shelf. It was pointed out that the purpose of the operation was to find and correct such errors.
MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT AND MAINTENANCE
The Prince Charles Mountains Party did not have much mechanical equipment, apart from aircraft, but the following comments are offered.
OMC Snow Cruiser
This was a newer model than that used by the Amery Party in 1968. It had the advantage of a reverse gear, but the seat was higher, making the machine less stable, and the engine arrangement was such that it was colder to drive. It was used at the ships side to move cargo, where a mechanical breakdown occurred. This was thought to be due to a broken starter assembly. This was replaced with an assembly made from brass in the ship's engine room. The machine was later flown to Beaver Lake where it was used to haul a banana sledge on the ten mile journey between the depot and the camp site. Performance was completely satisfactory with no mechanical troubles. During aerial evacuation of the machine it was dropped 300 feet on to moraine and disintegrated.
This small generator was sent to Beaver Lake camp, where it gave trouble free service for four weeks. The only disadvantage was the small petrol tank which needed filling every 20 minutes.
HERMAN NELSON HEATER
This was sent for starting aircraft in the cold. Because of the efficiency of the turbine engines it was not needed for this purpose. It was used by aircraft engineers working in the cold or to start the Braybon generator. This was a new model which gave trouble if the heat control was advanced too rapidly.
COPCO ROCK DRILL
This was accidentally dropped from about 500 feet from the helicopter cargo hook. After some work by R Mitchell it gave satisfactory service.
BRAYBON 3 KW DIESEL ALTERNATOR
Only one of these machines was put into service. It was difficult to start in the cold and had to be preheated on many occasions. The alternator caused radio noise which prevented it being used during radio skeds. As the radio was in use for long period when the aircraft was in the air the generator could not be used for battery charging, heating or water heating by immersion heater.
Batteries were supplied in adequate quantities, but due to the loss of almost all the battery acid, which was packed separately, in a drop from the helicopter (with the drill) the number of available batteries was limited.
A Porsche Snow Trac was made available to the party by the Amery party. It was used for moving fuel and for getting water from a nearby meltwater lake. It was not in good mechanical repair but it gave satisfactory service.
The original plan to use 12 volt lighting was not used because of lack of batteries. A 240 volt lighting system was installed in the huts in February 1969 when the nights became longer. The stopping of the generator at 2130 for the Mawson radio sked was a nuisance.
Three survey parties each had a small Honda battery charger, the Beaver and helicopter groups each had a larger model. These units all gave completely reliable service.
The medical plan for the Prince Charles Mountains Survey was based on a minimum of first aid treatment being given in the event of an illness or an accident and then medical evacuation to Mawson by stretcher equipped Beaver aircraft. Mr W Cowell received a surgeon's assistant course at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a resuscitation course with CIG Ltd, Mr Manning worked for two weeks in the casualty department of the Alfred Hospital.
Three types of Medical Kits were provided ‑ Type A; Type B and a personal pocket kit. Two of Type A were provided, one for the camp and one in the Beaver air craft. The Type B kit was carried by the Helicopters. Of the 15 personal kits provided, 11 were packed in the field kits.
Other medical equipment included a small resuscitator, two small bottles of oxygen, wire splints and air splints (the latter were not received until the second visit of the ship in February 1969).
The presence of Dr J Sansom of the Amery party at Landing Bluff for much of the time was greatly appreciated by all and did much for the morale of the party. Dr Sansom's medical chests were flown into Landing Bluff [from G1] on 21 January 1969.
Considering the amount of flying that was done, the original medical arrangements were not adequate, especially since flights into Mawson were delayed for days because of the weather. It is recommended that in any such programme of extensive flying, a doctor be included in the party. It is also recommended that personal first aid kits be made a personal issue to each man and that they should include a pain reliever which does not include codeine and should also include some antiseptic cream.
Fortunately, no serious medical problems arose. The only cases were cuts, abrasions, sunburn, indigestion and one case of boils.
FIRST AID KIT - TYPE A
Extract Cascara Sagrada 50 tablets
Aluminium Hydroxide gel. 100 "
Aspirin 50 "
Saridone 50 "
A.P.C. 100 "
Phenobarbitone 1 gr. 100 "
Amphetamine 5 mg. 100 "
Terramycin 250 mg. 32 capsules
Achromycin 250 mg. 16 capsules
Largactil 25 mg. 50 tablets
Avomine 50 "
Morphine ¼ gr. syrette 6
Omnopon 1/3 gr. syrette 6
Bandage 1" 3
Bandage 2" 4
Bandage 3" 4
Bandage elastic 3" 3
Triangular bandage 4
Absorbent gauze 1 oz. 2
Cotton wool 2 ozs. 2
Adhesive plaster 1" 1
Eye shield 6
Safety pins assorted 12
Butyn‑metaphen eye oint. 1/8 oz. 1
Terramycin eye oint. 1/8 oz. 1
Boric acid eye oint. 1/8 oz. 1
Atropin eye oint. 1/8 oz. 1
Oil of cloves ½ oz. 1
Cocaine lamellae 12 tablets
Terramycin ointment 2
Boric Acid ointment 4
Sorosil 1 oz. 1
Vaselinum Petralatum dressing 6
Plaster Paris 3" 6
Parasol Cream 4
Anusol suppositories 12
Ethyl chloride 1
Lanoline ½ oz. 8
Knife handle 1
Forceps mosquito 2
Forceps Spencer‑Welsh 2
Forceps dissec. with teeth 5" 1
Scissors 5" 1
Needle Suture straight 3
Needle suture curved 6
Suture silk 2 reels
Suture catgut 12
Towel small dental 1
Eye spud 1
Altrovite 100 tablets
Vitamin C 250 mg. 100 "
Vitamin B complex 100 "
Vitamin A + D 100 "
FIRST AID KIT ‑TYPE B
Wound dressing sterile 4
Bandage 4" 3
Gauze 2 oz 3
Adhesive tape 1" 2
Crepe bandage 3" 1
Codeine tablets 20
Antacid tablets 20
Omnopon 1/3 gr 2
Eye ointment 1
Lanoline 1/8 oz. 2
Procain penicillin 1 mill. units 2
PERSONAL MEDICAL KIT
Omnopon 1/3 gr.
Band‑aids 1 dozen
Elastic dressing 1
Mr R Hayne of the Antarctic Division accompanied the party to Landing Bluff to make a film record of the expedition He flew about 1,400 miles and camped out with field parties at New Year Nunatak and Beaver Lake. Because of logistic difficulties he was not able to visit other field parties except for a flight to Moore Pyramid which he visited briefly during the evacuation of the party there.
If a film record is required of field operations this should be considered in the planning of the expedition and due allowance be made for the logistic support needed.
Mr Hayne was flown to Mawson on 5 February 1969 and he continued his work there. Later he accompanied the Nella Dan to record the reopening of Davis station.
The survey team was led by Mr J Manning, Division of National Mapping, and consisted of Mr M Rubeli and Mr J Fox and in the later stages of the work, Mr M Corry, Officer-in-charge of the Amery Ice Shelf Project, 1968.
The survey was commenced at Rubeli Bluff in Reinbolt Hills, the southernmost station occupied during a ship based survey in January, 1968 and proceeded via a small rock feature [now Mousinho Rock] south of Gillock Island, New Year Nunatak in the Manning Nunataks to Pickering Nunatak. The Lambert Glacier was then crossed with a 69 mile leg to Fisher Massif, then north via a rock ridge west of Beaver Lake to Mount McCarthy and Mount Wishart. Mount Wishart was the terminal station of the existing continuous tellurometer traverse south from Mawson established by wintering parties during the years 1965, 1966 and 1967.
Further tellurometer lines were also measured from the ridge west of Beaver Lake to the northern end of Jetty Peninsula and connections made from Fisher Massif to Glaciological Station T4 on the Amery Ice Shelf and from New Year Nunatak to Glaciological Station T2 also on the Amery Ice Shelf to provide rigid control for the 1968 Amery Ice Shelf glaciological measurements.
On completion of the above survey, the 1968 survey was extended from the Larsemann Hills eastwards along the coast through a station on the plateau near Amanda Bay, the Rauer Group to a point in the Vestfold Hills, about nine miles east of Davis Station. A line was also measured from the Larsemann Hills to a rock outcrop bordering Amanda Glacier.
Comprehensive astrofixes by the Ney Method for latitude and longitude were carried out at Fisher Massif, Mount Wishart, Larsemann Hills and the Vestfold Hills for control of the geodetic traverse.
In conjunction with the main geodetic traverse considerable topographic detail was observed by theodolite from each station to give intersected positions for many surrounding features. This was complemented for detail by colour negative panoramic terrestrial photography taken at each trig station from a theodolite mounted camera. A glass plate Wild phototheodolite was employed for recording data at two of the main stations.
Distances were measured with Tellurometers Model MRA3, horizontal and vertical angles were measured with Wild T3 theodolites. Sightings were facilitated by the use of heliographs and 12 Volt Lucas quartz iodide spotlights.
Survey stations were marked by rock filled metal drum beacons or rock cairns, up to 10 feet high built from rocks in the vicinity.
In all, over 400 miles of accurate geodetic survey traverse was established during the operation.
WEATHER AND WEATHER FACILITIES
The weather experienced during the Prince Charles Mountains survey was never extreme. At Landing Bluff base camp the minimum temperature recorded was ‑2.4°F and the maximum winds recorded were 20 knots. The lowest temperature recorded in the field was ‑10°F at Mount Wishart and the maximum wind speed experienced at Beaver Lake was about 40 knots.
The only weather factors which seriously affected flying operations were overcast skies and whiteout conditions. These were experienced on 18 days of the 49 days of the operation. Seven of these days occurred between 4 and 31s January 1969 and 11 of them occurred between 1 February and 21 February 1969. Turbulence was encountered in the Prince Charles Mountains especially between the Beaver Lake depot and the Radok Lake Camp.
An interesting phenomenon was observed in the weather pattern at Landing Bluff. A steep fall in the barometric pressure had no effect on the weather but bad weather invariably occurred about 12 hours after the pressure began to rise again. There seemed to be no relationship between the weather at Mawson and that at Landing Bluff.
As the Bureau of Meteorology could not provide a forecaster, arrangements were made to install facsimile and APT equipment at Mawson and to provide a prognosis from Melbourne at about 2300Z. One weather observer was appointed to the party and a second was put ashore to train someone to make weather observations.
Equipment provided included pilot balloons, hydrogen, meteorological theodolite, thermometers, and ventimeters. Through an oversight, no barometers were provided but a digital barometer and a bank of altimeters were provided from the surveying equipment.
One observer, Mr C Bain, went to Beaver Lake where he spent 24 days. Because of the necessity to assist with the field work, Bain was only able to take regular observations at 0600 and 1800. Upper wind observations were made whenever aircraft were expected to fly into the area. Due to several factors, G Bool remained at Landing Bluff until 5 February 1969 when he was flown to Mawson.
At Landing Bluff, observations were taken every three hours between 0600 and 2100 hours. Upper wind observations were made at the request of the pilots.
The lack of weather forecasts caused great concern to the pilots and it is stressed that every effort should be made to provide on the spot forecasts available on any similar exercise in the future. Both observers did their job conscientiously but they were both aware of their lack of experience in Antarctica. The ideal situation seems to be to have an experienced forecaster at Mawson and an experienced weather observer at the field base camp. Bool has volunteered to join the Prince Charles Mountains survey in 1970 and it is strongly recommended that he be appointed to the party.