Jan 2, 2014

Posted by in Science

Helpful Advice for Those Being Rescued in the Antarctic

Helpful Advice for Those Being Rescued in the Antarctic

And so it seems after weeks trapped in ice, and a number of failed or aborted rescue attempts, the 52 scientists, journalists, tourists and other people who don’t so easily fit it into one of those categories, have been rescued.  A helicopter from the Chinese icebreaker that’s had a lot of trouble breaking the ice it is there to break has ferried the stranded to another nearby icebreaker ship, the Auroa Australis.  A ship that, judging by a quick glance at pictures, appears to be stuck in ice.  But apparently this one can break through that ice.  Probably by yelling, ‘She’ll be right mate’ and just pushing on regardless.  Like Ricky Ponting.

It does however seem a cruel twist of fate that these people, stranded for so long, must now suffer another near two week journey to be fully free of the ice.  And then, after this journey, they will not be free.  They will not be home.  They will be in Tasmania.  Wishing they were stranded in the ice again.

So I’ve decided to come up with a helpful list of ten things they can do on this remaining part of their journey to help pass the time because let’s face it, they’re all bored shitless of each other by this point.

1) Recreate scenes from Frozen Planet.  All you need is a camera, a pair of tan trousers and a pastel blue shirt.  Then speak in awe and wonder and use phrases like, ‘You’d think no animal could survive here but, look, there, as always, there’s some bat shit crazy bird that does.  Half way up a cliff face, freezing to death wondering how the fuck Natural Selection came up with this’.

2) Draw up a list of who you’re going to eat first if it all goes Pete Tong again.  And not jokingly either.  Really think about.  Muscle mass, BMI and such come into it obviously.  But also consider things like, ‘Who’s the deepest sleeper’ and ‘Who’s the slowest runner’.

3) Research tourist attractions to visit once in Tasmania.  This, if done thoroughly, could consume up to four minutes of your day.

4) Kidnap some penguins and teach them to sing.  Don’t cop out and do something simple like  ‘Shave and a Hair Cut’ as done by the penguins in The Muppets either.  You are in the land of Adélie penguins after all.  Teach them ‘Rolling in the Deep’. Penguins are cute, Adele is very popular and people love puns.  You’d have a YouTube sensation on your hands in minutes.

5) Keep saying ‘Nippy isn’t it’ to the same crew member every hour.  This can work as a new scientific experiment to replace the ones that we uncompleted on the original journey.  Every time you mention the temperature to him or her, do as if it is the first time you’ve done so.  When they begin to ask you to stop, it’s not funny, say you’ve no idea what they’re talking about, you haven’t spoken to them all day.  Get another crew member to join in the fun and concur with your story.  Do this for a few days until doubt creeps into the original crew members mind.   Then sneak into this person’s room at night and move the odd thing around.  Start with shoes.  Progress to the door.  A silent drill and saw should do the trick.  Then when you are convinced they’ve gone completely insane put everything back how it was and introduce yourself like thus, ‘Hi, I’m Toby, I don’t believe we’ve met’.

This works on two levels as it will pass the time on the boat plus you will have someone to visit in hospital in Tasmania to pass the time there as well.  Word of warning though, do not do this to the person steering the boat.  That will end badly.

6) Pretend the Auroa Australis is a pirate ship and you’ve been taken prisoner.  Stop short of going all Assassin’s Creed on crew members though.

7)  Act like you’ve been away for years upon your return.  Once in Tasmania pretend you’ve been away for many years, without communication.  Marvel at the big buildings, the fast cars and how everyone seems to carrying Star Trek devices with them.  Talk in a ye olde manner like a damsal from a John Wayne movie.  Ask things like, ‘Did Keating win the election’ and, ‘Do we know who killed Laura Palmer yet?’

8) Make a web series titled ‘People on an IceBreaker Getting Rescued’.  Based on Jerry Seinfeld’s series ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee‘ which was based on (whether he knew it or not) Robert Llewellyn’s ‘Carpool’.  Simply strap a GoPro camera to your head facing back towards you and walk around the ship five times talking about whatever with another person on board.  If you go the Carpool approach, simply chat about whatever comes up.  If you’d prefer the ‘Coffee’ approach make sure you disguise setups for people to get ‘bits’ in as genuine conversation.  This is harder than it looks.  ‘So I was thinking about ferris wheels the other day’ rarely comes up organically.

9)  Respond to the comments on the Express website.  I’ve not looked but I assume there’s many comments under articles about this mission (yeah, I’m calling it a mission) saying, ‘Ha, ha, ha, the climate scientists went to show how the ice is melting and they go stuck in ice!  Ha ha ha.  No global warming.  Climate change not real.  Romanians Bad.  Potatoes gave me cancer.  Etcetera’.  This will no doubt pass plenty of time as there’ll be thousands to wade through although it may also increase your blood pressure to the point where your kidneys just shut down.

10) Set up a still and a prohibition bar.  There may be some alcohol on the ship but that’s all above board.  Or deck if you prefer.  Use the scientific equipment available to you and set up a make shift operation in the engine room.  Create your own moonshine and give it a snappy name like ‘Leopard Seal’ and use genuine iceberg ice when you serve it.  Wear a 1930s hat.  Soon the engine room, which you must rebrand as something like ‘Pappys Old Times’ will be heaving with guests wanting your exclusive contraband and to be able to dance to the ragtime blues like they used to.  You will then arrive in Tasmania flush with cash to spend on Australia delicacies like Tim Tams, Milo and shirts with casually racist slogans on them.


(Pic from @alokjha on Twitter, one of The Guardian journalists on the ship).

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