Happy mid-winter from our Antarctic station (SANAE), sub-Antarctic station (Marion Island) and Gough Island.
Antarctica – where the 58th overwintering team will be celebrating mid-winter.
Marion Island – where the 76th overwintering team will be celebrating mid-winter.
Gough Island – where the 64th overwintering team will be celebrating mid-winter.
In this Edition:
– Get to know the SANAE58 deputy team leader, Mpati Boleme.
– Learn more about the scientific work currently ongoing at SANAE IV
– See what was the weather like during the month of May 2019.
– Team gatherings
– Learn some facts about Antarctica
Click here to download/view the SANAE IV Newsletter, May 2019 Edition.
Click here to view all the SANAE newsletters available on the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa Archive.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 13 June 2019
The December 2019 – February 2021 positions for Antarctica will soon be advertised here. If you are interested in overwintering at the South African National Antarctic Expedition Station, SANAE IV, make sure you know all about the different positions available.
Note that this position at SANAE IV is not permanent and is based on a 15 month contract.
More about the Senior Meteorological Technician position for the South African Weather Service (SAWS) at SANAE IV…
- National Weather Certificate or BSc Degree (Honours) in Natural Sciences or Previous Island Experience.
- Preference will be given to applicants who have been to the islands before.
- Candidates must be willing to work shifts (both day and night shifts), and on public holidays in possible adverse weather conditions.
- Candidates must be punctual, dedicated, precise and able to work in a team, as well as on their own.
- Oversee and coordinate surface meteorological and atmospheric research project assigned by the Marine Section of SAWS.
- Perform surface meteorological observations and maintain and verify all equipment at the remote station of SANAE IV.
- Conduct quality control of data, report writing and asset control.
- Assist other team members with logistical and administrative tasks associated with the general running of the base.
- Conduct all duties in accordance with the rules, regulations and standards as set out by the South African Weather Service.
Watch this video and meet Meteorological Technicians previously (of the 57th SANAE Overwintering Team, Season: December 2017 – March 2019) and currently (of the 58th SANAE Overwintering Team (Season: December 2018 – February 2020) at SANAE IV.
Contact Mardené de Villiers or Tammy Morris (SAWS) for more information regarding this position – Tel: (021) 935 5700
Over the next few weeks we will share more information about the different positions and you can also watch videos of previous overwintering personnel at SANAE.
Subscribe to the ALSA YouTube Channel to make sure you do not miss any new videos on our channel.
Senior Meteorological Technician for SANAE IV minimum requirements and duties are taken from official job advert for this position (Department of Environmental Affairs and South African Weather Service).
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 10 June 2019
In this Edition:
– Get to know the SANAE58 team leader, Jacques Robbertze
– Have you ever heard of the ‘smelly’ and wondered how this ice melting system works?
Click here to download The Edurance (SANAE IV Newsletter), March 2019 Edition.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 17 May 2019
Have you ever considered working at the South African National Antarctic Expedition Station (SANAE IV)? Are you a South African citizen? Are you a Diesel Mechanic and want to know what is expected of you when you work on Antarctica?
First of all note that any position at SANAE IV is not permanent and is approximately 15 months contract. Some positions might be longer due to the training involved before departure to Antarctica.
Here are the main duties of a Diesel Mechanic on Antarctica:
• Maintenance of power generator and vehicle diesel engines and related equipment;
• Maintenance and repairs of Air-conditioning system, refrigeration, water reticulation and waste water systems;
• Replacement and repair of mechanical pumps and valves as well as pipe fitting;
• Maintenance and minor repairs of Caterpillar machines, snowmobiles, telescopic cranes, portable generators and transfer pumps. Operate Caterpillar machines and cargo handling equipment;
• Maintenance of cabooses (field caravan) and field equipment.
• Report to the mechanical engineer and will perform additional base related mechanical and civil functions requested by the mechanical engineer and also be part of a technical team, led by a technical team manager, that has to perform any additional base related technical functions;
• Preparation of monthly and annual reports and other common “non-technical” duties performed by expedition members
Meet the Diesel Mechanic of the 57th SANAE Overwintering Team (Season: December 2017 – March 2019), John Skelete.
If you have what is takes, keep an eye on the SANAP website for the next season (December 2019 – February 2021) job openings (click here).
Contact Mr Willem Boshoff for more information regarding this position – Telephone (021) 405 9418.
Subscribe to the ALSA YouTube Channel to make sure you do not miss any new videos on our channel.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 14 May 2019
Download the first newsletter of the 58th SANAE Overwintering team!
In this Edition:
– Meet the team
– They have a Motto!!
– See who sponsored the team with some extra (nice to have items) for their expedition.
Click here to download The Edurance (SANAE IV Newsletter), March 2019 Edition.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 05 April 2019
Interested in the South African Research and Supply Vessel, the S.A. Agulhas II 2019 Voyage Schedule?
Welcome to Cape Town SANAE57 team, take-over personnel, Weddell Sea Expedition crew, Department of Public Works personnel and Nolitha Construction (responsible for the refurbishments of the SANAE IV base), the Ultimate Helicopter Crew and the S.A. Agulhas II’s Captain and Crew.
The 57th South African National Antarctic Expedition (SANAE) team has returned to Cape Town, after 15 months away from home (see photo below). This team had to stay a bit longer at SANAE IV than usual, due to the longer take-over in order to accommodate the Weddell Sea Expedition, that was incorporated in the 2018/2019 Antarctica Cruise.
This Weddell Sea Expedition was funded by the The Flotilla Foundation and the S.A. Agulhas II chartered a team of scientists into the Weddell Sea, for extensive scientific exploration on and around the LarsenC ice shelf and the A68 Iceberg. Click here to meet the South Africans that was part of this expedition.
The Weddell Sea Expedition also involved the search for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance (click here for more information), but due to unfavourable weather conditions and the loss of the AUV (automated underwater vehicle) the search was ended where after the ship headed back to Penguin Bukta where overwintering members (S57) and take-over personnel of SANAE IV boarded the ship.
The welcoming ceremony was led by Mathibela Selepe (Department of Environmental Affairs, Chief Engineer: Telecommunications and Instrumentation) and welcoming speech delivered by Mbulelo Dopolo (Department of Environmental Affairs, Branch: Oceans and Coasts, Director: Earth Systems Strategies).
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 15 March 2019
The S.A. Agulhas II is currently on her way home, after being in the Antarctica waters for 3 months. Onboard is the returning 57th SANAE (South African National Antarctic Expedition) overwintering team, 2018/2019 SANAE take-over personnel, Weddell Sea Expedition members and ship based scientists of different South African universities.
Expected time of arrival (ETA): 15 March 2019, around 08:30
The vessel will then proceed to Landing Wall 1 for inward clearance and shifting in to east pier around 08:30.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 14 March 2019
Following up on this article: SANAE57 Team -currently on their way home
Meet the Communications Engineer of the 57th South African National Antarctic Expedition Team – Hloni Rakoteli. This is not the first time Hloni heads home on the S.A Agulhas II from an overwintering expedition, his first expedition was on Gough Island as part of the 61st Gough Island Overwintering Team (Gough61 team photo). Get to know Hloni a bit better, before watching the video, by downloading the June Edition of the SANAE57 team newsletter.
This team is heading home on the S.A. Agulhas II, currently sailing through the roaring 40’s (now at 43°South). Track the S.A. Agulhas II by clicking on the icon below.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 12 March 2019
Steven L Chown
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Paris Agreement has changed views on how much can be done to improve the way humans interact with our world. The Sustainable Development Goals have had a similar effect. Despite these compelling global efforts, reports continue to highlight declining quality of ecosystems, increasing threats to species, and growing greenhouse gas emissions. Much needs to be done to develop a clearer picture of status, trends, pressures, and the impacts of mitigation response on regional systems. For the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, which comprise nearly a third of the globe, and contribute significantly to global biodiversity, ecosystems services, and sea level rise, this is especially true. The next several decades are a crucial time for determining whether change accelerates or can be retarded. How policy decisions play out in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, how nations are in turn affected by these southern polar outcomes, and the nature of the feedbacks, will influence both global livelihoods and the future of the Antarctic region. Science is the only means available to develop the reliable knowledge needed to inform decision-making and reveal its consequences. Providing the best understanding of the Antarctic region and its global role, estimates of confidence in specific knowledge areas, and practicable approaches to address knowledge gaps are significant modern challenges for the science community.
Steven L Chown is Professor of Biological Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He founded and was inaugural Director of the South African National Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (2004-2012) and was previously Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University (2013-2017). He now co-leads the Sustainable Development Strategy Group at Monash. A key part of his research concerns the biological impacts of the major global change drivers, with a substantial focus on the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. He has published widely, including some 400 scientific papers and several scientific and popular books. He is listed as a highly cited cross-disciplinary researcher. For many years, he has represented the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. Currently he is President of SCAR, Australian Delegate to SCAR, and Chair of the National Committee for Antarctic Research of the Australian Academy of Science. Previously he was South African Delegate to SCAR and Chair of the South African National Committee for SCAR. Steven is the inaugural recipient of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. He has also received the SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research, the South African Antarctic Gold Medal, and the Zoological Society of Southern Africa Gold Medal.
The SANAE57 (57th SANAE Overwintering) Team is currently onboard the S.A. Agulhas II, heading home after 14months on Antarctica. ALSA was privileged to catch up with the team during take-over (in January) at SANAE IV, the fourth South African National Antarctic Expedition Station.
Each member of SANAE57 was introduced in the team’s first newsletter. Read below Will Jelbert’s (team leader and doctor of the team) introduction at the start of the expedition and hear what he had to say after the expedition (in take-over). If you want to read more about this expedition member make sure you read the September Edition of this team’s newsletter.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 05 March 2019
This is the first of many video’s taken by the team of Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, while visiting the SANAE IV station during this current take-over (2018/2019).
This series of videos will be posted over the next few months (See playlist on Facebook here: SEASON 1: Antarctica Take-Over 2018/2019) to introduce you to the overwintering team and the support staff of this take-over.
Watch these videos and learn more about the different operations involved in such an expedition.
VIDEO#1: Meet this take-over’s DCO (Departmental Coordinating Officer) – Chuma Phamoli.
I hope that you will enjoy this journey with us!
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 26 February 2019
University of Pretoria Event:
Stellenbosch University Event:
During the first week of February 2019 the S.A. Agulhas II, which is currently chartered for the Weddell Sea Expedition, made a stop at King George Island. This island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands. This stopover was necessitated by the need for extra mechanical and electronic parts for the ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) team involved in the search for the Endurance wreck after an implosion of the electronics housing during a test dive. The parts were to be flown in from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the airstrip on King George Island.
The stopover provided an opportunity for the expedition members to stretch their legs on land—a unique opportunity for the South African contingent who never get to visit these parts on the usual SANAE relief voyages. The island hosts a large number of research bases operated by Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as China, Russia, South Korea and Poland. A tour of Base Prof. Julio Escudero was arranged with the Chileans where all the scientific and recreational station facilities were displayed. The team was also invited in for tea at the Russian Bellingshausen station while waiting for the zodiacs to return the expedition team to the S.A. Agulhas II. The favours were then returned to the Chilean and Russian teams and they were invited aboard the S.A. Agulhas II and toured through the vessel. A joint Chilean-Argentinian naval patrol’s officers were also invited aboard and treated to some finger snacks with the S.A. Agulhas II’s officers in one of the vessel’s lounges.
King George Island also holds the Antarctic Treaty Monument which commemorates the signatories of the Antarctic Treaty and displays a plaque commemorating South Africa’s involvement as one of the original signatories. The monument is listed and protected as an Antarctic Historic Site or Monument.
Unfortunately, weather conditions prevented the designated plane with supplies from landing while the expedition was waiting at King George Island. The aircraft took off three separate times and had to turn around each time. The expedition couldn’t afford to lose more time and had to leave for the Endurance wreck site without the spares.
The team S.A. Agulhas II reached the wreck site on 10 February 2019 (read more here). The fact that the ROV will not be used for any further exploration did not stop the team, as they built a new frame fixed with lights and a camera which can be ‘trawled’ above the seafloor.
Written by: Hermann Luyt, Oceanography, University of Cape Town, 14 February 2019
Photo Credit (all): Hermann Luyt
Meet Dr Sarah Fawcett
Dr Fawcett is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town. She is a P-rated scientist (National Research Foundation Rating), who is the Principal Investigator of a South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) project titled “A nitrogen cycle view of atmospheric CO2 sequestration in the Antarctic Ocean“. She was also elected to the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) towards the end of last year (Read more here).
We are very proud that Dr Fawcett is part of the scientific team on the Weddell Sea Expedition that is currently underway. She represents South Africa as part of the UCT/SAEON/NMU team. Other institutions involved in this expedition includes the Scott Polar Institute (Cambridge, UK), the Nekton Foundation (UK) and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Read more about the Weddell Sea Expedition here.
Watch this video (low quality as it came directly from the Weddell Sea) where Dr Fawcett tells us more about the physical oceanography sampling conducted during the scientific leg of the exhibition and the use of this specific type of sampling.
Cover photo and video credit: Hermann Luyt
Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 07 February 2019
ALSA had the opportunity to visit the SANAE IV (South African National Antarctic Expedition) Station in the first two weeks of January.
We are very excited to get the new material on the SANAP website!
Do you want to know more about this? Visit the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa website (click here).
We have such a long list of people to introduce and thank – we will start doing this very soon.
Ria Olivier and Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 05 February 2019
The international Weddell Sea Expedition to one of the most remote regions of Antarctica has entered its fifth week. The expedition reached the Larsen C Ice Shelf on 10 January 2019 and commenced sampling of the ocean (video coming soon), surrounding ice floes, bathymetry and seafloor sediment to better understand one of the least explored ocean regions of the world.
The expedition chartered the S.A. Agulhas II and over and above the all South African crew, a large contingent of South African scientists is also onboard. The scientists include Dr Sarah Fawcett (Chemical Oceanography – University of Cape Town) and UCT students Raquel Flynn, Jessica Burger, Riesna Audh, Shantelle Smith, Kurt Spence and Hermann Luyt; Dr Katherine Hutchinson (Physical Oceanography – University of Cape Town); Prof Tommy Bornman (Biological Oceanography – South African Environmental Observation Network and Nelson Mandela University); Prof Annie Bekker (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering – University of Stellenbosch) and her students James-John Matthee and Christof van Zijl; Tahlia Henry (Scientific operations – Nelson Mandela University/University of Cape Town); Thapi Makgabutlane (South African Weather Services) and Dr Colin de La Harpe (on behalf of the CSIR).
Stay in touch for more on this expedition team – who will only return to Cape Town middle of March 2019.
Written by: Prof Tommy Bornman, Biological Oceanography – South African Environmental Observation Network and Nelson Mandela University, 30 January 2019
Thanks to Tahlia Henry, Prof Tommy Bornman, Hermann Luyt and Dr Sarah Fawcett for coming in contact with Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.
The S.A. Agulhas II has departed from the East Pier of Cape Town harbour on 6 December 2018. The ship then docked at customs, where passports of all passengers onboard were stamped. The ship officially left Cape Town 7 December 2018 en route Antarctica.
The voyage schedule is as follows:
|SANAE||06/12/2018||19/12/2018||Annual relief voyage Cape Town to Antarctica (Penguin Bukta)|
|20/12/2018||31/12/2018||Offloading, fuel pumping|
|01/01/2019||14/02/2019||Weddell Sea Expedition|
|15/02/2019||23/02/2019||Back-loading, fuel pumping|
|24/02/2019||11/03/2019||Return to Cape Town (via SS Island if required)|
Onboard the vessel is the 58th SANAE Overwintering team that will stay in and maintain South Africa’s Antarctic research station (SANAE IV), while gathering weather and space weather data for a period of 14 months.
The Weddell Sea Expedition will also form part of this voyage – click here for more information.
Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 13 December 2018
Sanele Mkhize is one of the Diesel Mechanics on the 58th SANAE Overwintering team. Today he can spend his birthday in Cape Town, while still bust with team training. His next birthday will be celebrated with his small team on the Antarctic continent.
On behalf of ALSA and all involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme, we would like to wish you a Happy Birthday.
Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 26 November 2018.
Completing an MSc or PhD within the South African National Antarctic Programme can be something out of the ordinary.
Are you interested in the sub-Antarctic, Antarctic or the Southern Ocean?
Keep an eye out for related postgrad positions here.
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, 22 October 2018