Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Monday, 27 June 2016

Antarctica Rescue in June 2016


Antarctica Credit NASA

Antarctica, Photo Credit of NASA.

All photos and text in italics  are courtesy of the Internet, the National Science Foundation and other journalists  and photographers who have followed this rescue and evacuation from start to successful ending.

There was very little coverage of this on TVNZ, and I have to thank Julie Palais  ( Program Director at NSF) for her updates on Facebook.

A twin otter plane lands at Amundsen-Scott  South Pole Station, photo courtesy Robert Schwarz, National Science Foundation

A Twin Otter Plane lands at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, photo is courtesy of Robert Schwarz, National Science Foundation ( NSF) June 2016.

On Tuesday 14th June, 2 Twin Otter planes from Kenn Borek Air Limited left  Calgary , Alberta, Canada, on their journey to the South Pole,  to   evacuate  a seriously ill worker,  a seasonal worker with Lockheed Martin  at the Scott-Amundsen base who required hospitalisation.  This is mid winter there, no daylight, temperatures about minus 60 Celsius,  (-70F) with the wind chill bringing it down to minus 75 Celsius.. The distance is a staggering 16,700 km, or 10,376 miles. On each plane there was a pilot, co-pilot, engineer and  a medical team member.

Kenn Borek Air  has a fleet of  43 aircraft including  26 de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter.

On 26 April 2001, Kenn Borek Air used a DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft to rescue Dr. Ron Shemenski from the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. This was the first ever rescue from the South Pole during polar winter. To achieve the range necessary for this flight, the Twin Otter was equipped with a special ferry tank.

Details of the DHC-6 Twin Otter for you who like technical details.

The aircraft's fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL ( Short take-off and Landing)  abilities and high rate of climb have made it a successful cargo, passenger, and medical evacuation plane.

Maximum Seating: 19 passengers, 2 pilots

Maximum Payload: 3,500 pounds

Cargo Door Size: 56" x 50"

Baggage Area: 126 cubic feet

Maximum Range: 4.5 hours, 750 miles

Cruise Speed: 165 mph

Fully I.F.R. Equipped, Including Global Positioning System

Operates on small wheels, floats, skis, wheel skis, tundra tires

Twin Pratt and Whitney PT6A-27 turbines rated at 620 shaft horsepower each


Kenn-Borek- DHC-6 300 Twin Otter on skis

Kenn Borek  DHC-6 300 on skis at Rothera, Antarctica.  Photo courtesy Internet.

This was a huge undertaking and  and included contribution from many areas , weather forecasts from  the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems        ( SPAWAR) Centre Atlantic,  expertise from the University of Texas Medical Branch,  various contributions from ASC.,  NSF’s Colorado based Antarctic logistics contractor as well as assistance from other nations.All those at airports who gave flight tracking data information and updates.

Tuesday 14th June 2016.

From Calgary to Denver, Colorado, 5 1/2 hours, 1447 km (899 miles)

Denver to Texas 1495 km (928 miles)

Texas to Liberia  ( Daniel Oduber Intl, Airport) 2306 km (1432 miles)

Liberia to Ecuador 1446 km ( 899 miles)

Ecuador  to Punta Arenas 5932 km (3685 miles)

Punta Arenas to Rothera 1612 km (1001 miles)

Rothera to South Pole 2497 km, (1551 miles) a 10 hour flight.

  The planes arrived at Rothera on June 20th.’The plane had to be fitted with skis to enable it to land at the South Pole, where there is only compacted snow for a runway. One plane flew to the South Pole, the other remained at Rothera as a back-up if a rescue was needed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 2:36 PM - Canadian aircraft have completed the medical evacuation of two people working at a research base in Antarctica.

The two workers, details of whose condition have not been released, were extracted from a base at the South Pole, which is enduring the harsh conditions of the Antarctic winter, and ferried by two Canadian-owned Twin Otter aircraft to Chile. The patients were later taken to an undisclosed medical facility.

One of the Twin Otters flew from the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera Station some 2,400 km to the U.S. National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott research base at the South Pole. After arrival, the crew rested 10 hours, after which the weather conditions were deemed suitable to fly out with the two patients, along with a medical technician.

That Twin Otter returned safely to Rothera, where the patients were transferred to a second Twin Otter, which flew them to Punta Arenas in southern Chile. They arrived safely on Wednesday.

I am sure that all who were involved in this mission can be grateful for a successful outcome, and those of us who cannot imagine the vastness of  Antarctica can read that it is  larger than USA, sorry all my friends in Canada, I could not find the overlay map for you. But Antarctica is about 1.4 times as big as Canada. This is USA overlaid on Antarctica.


USA overlaid on Antarctica for comparison

Quotation of the day from Dr Martin Luther King Jr.,

“ Our lives begin to end

the day we become silent about things that matter”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 19 June 2016

When Careful Plans Go Wrong


The June One Block Wonder with Sandy at  Upstairs Hobby Room looked fabulous, and was called   a Topographical Block. You can see why if you go to the link.      June Topographical Quilt blocks .

June  One Block Wonder #3

I loved the layout, and decided I would do blues, purples, greens and one other colour. The blue block was done, then I looked carefully, and decided there wasn’t enough contrast from dark to light.  It does look OK in the photo though. So I began the next layout, with all different fabrics, and YES, my favourite batiks.

June One Block Wonder #4

The blue was what I thought would go round, matching up at each seam. but  blue went to green, oh dear,  I had cut the rows in the wrong order when I reversed them.More blocks have been sewn, CAT scanned, and I tried different ways to put them together. I can see the rose pink is  almost taking over the whole block, so If.. WHEN I make more, might need to change that one fabric. I am thinking that a whole set of blues as a border, not the same fabrics, but similar, this would give it a frame.

And to make sure this does get finished. I think a QAYG will be the easiest way for me.BOM June 2016 #4

BOM June 2016 with Boris

..BOM June 2016 #1

Slight interruptions to the sewing, a visit to the oral surgeon   last week .How does he think you can talk when your mouth is full of hardware?? and numb  from one side to the other? When I mumbled what I thought was “ Yes, I’m OK” to his question, “Are you all right”,  he replied.” That wasn’t very convincing”. Thumbs up was the only way to reply after that. Adrenaline in the injections and no doubt in what he swabbed with afterwards, left my heart beating fast and the old legs a bit shaky. 10 minutes sitting in the waiting room, no doubt to make sure I was “ OK”.Very reassuring,kind, gentle, tall and good looking,  all a girl could ask for, maybe anywhere but there!!!

A very dear friend phoned me later that day, and came with yummy soup, a beautiful card, and a bunch of such fragrant Luculia flowers”. Thank you Rosalind and Jack, this and your thoughts earlier meant so much. This was a new shrub to me, I phoned around, and the next day managed to find one, the last one there, and it is waiting for a sheltered place in our garden. So a permanent  memory of true friendship will be in our garden. 


Luculia flowers and beautiful card

Quotation of the day, an Indian Proverb,

“ All the flowers of all the tomorrows

are in the seeds of today”

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Blog Titles,To Be or Not to Be? That is the Question.


How does anyone decide on their blog name? Was it easy, a no-brainer, or difficult to the point of despair? When I began this  blog way back in 2011, I had no idea of where I was going, how to write a post, how to edit photos, or have a friendship list.  Then after talking to Marg Ussher who lives in the Auckland area, and throwing around a few ideas, her help in rearranging the words to what it is now was the deciding moment. For a long time, Walter’s compass was the header photo.

In  March , 2010, I made Walter Drake  ( 4th March 1919 - 15th April 2010)    a wall hanging, a “ Mariner’s Compass” to celebrate not only that day but to represent his time with HMS during WW2.  Our friendship was over some 13 or more  previous years, and he so enjoyed a visit  to our home here  in 2002 .

As First Lieutenant, and later Commanding Officer of Motor Launch 106 and finally senior officer of the 51st ML Flotilla, Lieutenant Walter Charles Drake, DSC, RNZNVR took part in thirty four successful mine-laying operations in enemy waters off the Dutch coast in the North Sea.

He was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) in July 1944.

Mariner's Compass wall hanging

Along with this, I  also enclosed  some words, and the wonderful staff in the Merino Ward at Auckland Hospital kept the parcel, ( a bit more subterfuge )  and brought it in for him on the morning of his birthday, and after opening it, they hung  this  on the wall in his room.

To Walter

Happy 91st Birthday 4th March 2010

The Mariner’s Compass

Not sitting in the binnacle with the bridge just up above

No shouting down the voice pipe “Starboard 15. Stop Engines, Slow ahead”

A Mariner’s Compass in quilter’s terms, sewn with needle and with thread.

No swinging gimbal and no glass cover for salt spray protection

The four points, North, South, East and West, and others for direction.

Remembering those words; “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

This is sent to you with friendship and with love.

Today I wrote a comment on  another blog on what was my most happy mail, real snail mail, and I am sure it was when Walter’s daughter Kristine sent me a card after Walter’s funeral to thank me, and to say that his wall-hanging  was at the Felixstowe Museum where memories of the Coastal Forces are displayed. It is on the wall, covered with special glass so it will not fade. A wonderful honour and huge privilege.A small part of our friendship, that has travelled from New Zealand to the UK.

Quotation of the day, by Mark Twain

“ Grief can take care of itself,

but to get the full value of a joy you must have

somebody to divide it with”

Greetings from Jean



Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Kingdom of Coco arrives in NZ


                     Cheryl Coville can be found here  at 

 Grandma Coco's Designs and recently  her  patterns have been of whimsical cats in all seasons. I have  been tempted for some time to do one of these delightful applique patterns, but…life and its troubles intervened. I decided that this week nothing would stop me starting and finishing the one called “ April Showers.  So here it is from GO to WHOA.

These patterns have been free to download, and have 6 facing one way, and then they are  reversed. Look at the masterpieces Cheryl has made, just go to her blog and ..well I was going to say drool  but maybe…  indulge your eyes with every one . the latest one has a ginger cat and a mouse,  “ Eye to Eye”,  so fitting for my next one as fearless fanatical Boris brought in a mouse late last night.And guess who had to do the dispatching, as Hugh is again on crutches?  I was so brave!!!

The beginning, one pattern printed…

april  showers applique design

Then out  came the scrap box… batik pieces are always saved, even the tiniest ones!! And some fusible web.

  Batik scraps for the cat applique

Maybe my other name was “Scrooge”, or is it my Mum and Grandma’s Scottish upbringing? Can you guess what colours I am using out of this medley?

The leftover pieces, after fusing, cutting and placing on the background square.

applique cat remnants

I love it, smiles from a ginger boy ( we have 2 at our home), purple brolly, one of my fav colours, and all batiks, my real favourite fabric of all time. The stylised raindrops were sewn with a Madeira Polyneon,, colour 1603. the rest with again one of my favourites, Gutterman,  either the  polyester, or cotton, depending on what shades I had. Now all I need is a name, ( Maybe Grimsby or Godfrey, but I am open to all suggestions)  and a bag to make, this will be on the outside front pocket.

April Showers applique all done

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Never let the day’s problems get

between you and your endeavours”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Life in the Slow Lane


Things have been a bit slow and quiet here lately, Hugh has torn a hamstring tendon, so another trip to hospital, and  back again crutches,  no driving long distances and more. Some  secret sewing, we had a wonderful visit to Jenny and Robin, and more subterfuge. You can read about it  on Jenny’s blog here…

 Romany Quilting, what's a little subterfuge.…

we had a delightful time together, chatted, looked at quilts, UFOs. lunch, so yummy, onion soup ( I must have the recipe), sausage rolls, chocolate  cake, coffee.  I was totally spoilt, our days out lately have been hospital, grocery shopping, or other  necessary outings.

Jack Frost has arrived, and after several zero Celsius starts, today was in the minus zone. Boris delighted in scuffling leaves around, and his nether end didn’t mind the cold one little bit.


Boris sitting on very cold frosty grassFrosty morning, SOOC

Me and my shadows

If you look very carefully, my shadow is there, with more shiny frost to the right hand side.

I have started some feline applique, courtesy of the lovely Cheryl’s patterns,  at

Grandma Coco's Designs   ……….here.   #Photos to come when a bit more applique is finished.

Quotation of the day, from Dakotsu Iida

“ The morning sun radiantly rises

above the frosty woods”

Greetings from Jean