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Meet Svein, Our Mechanic

HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE– On a 4 month trip across Antarctica with 12 people, everyone has a pretty crucial job to perform. But some of us are more essential. One of these key people is Svein, our mechanic. Luckily this year Svein has not been as busy fixing differentials and gear boxes as Kjetil, last year’s mechanic was. The vehicles, thanks to nearly a month of work upgrading at Camp Winter, have worked out wonderfully. This does not mean the Svein is not busy…there are countless other mechanical tasks that he keeps up with, with the added job of helping all of us scientists out when our stuff is not working so well… and when we break pieces of crucial equipment, like the glass carafe for the French press (which in all honesty was bound to happen).

Carafe for the French press. Is that a Nalgene bottle? Why yes it is! Spout and all.

When the cable for the drill broke, Svein immediately started making a hook to retrieve the drill…that worked!

The ingenious hook Svein made to recover the drill

Svein has stayed busy making our lives just that much more comfortable…fixing the floor heating system when it’s broken, making a step for the “littlest module,” the outhouse we are toting along, saving me from having to jump the 3 ft to the ground.

The sky light above the table dripped constantly due to condensation (warm in the kitchen module, cold outside), which is a big bummer if you are eating dinner underneath. Svein stopped the dripping once and for all with this handy gadget.

The glycol system for the floor heaters would leak, causing the whole system to shut down and our heat to turn off…not good when it’s -20 deg C outside.

The step for the littlest module

And maybe nearly as important, Svein has made all of our lives a little bit better by being always ready with a joke, a laugh, or even just a good tackle to the snowy ground when we start taking things a little too seriously. At the end of the traverse, I asked Svein a little bit about his take on the trip (filmed at Troll Station, Antarctica).

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