Heard Island Expedition 1997 (Planning Documents)


Glenn Johnson WØGJ

Concern: Illness/Injury
I. Problems
A. Us (you & me)
B. Them (wildlife, rocks, weather)
II. Health
A. Water supply
1. From ship (we should NOT rely on finding useable water)
2. Katydyn filters
B. Food supply
1. Should rotate KP duty as a slave
2. MUST keep clean (Your mother could not afford to come along.)
C. Toilets
1. I have six of the cardboard "Potty Time" toilets as used on Easter Island.
2. Problem will be getting them in a relatively waterproof/windproof shelter: an old ANARE building or one of the shipping containers.
3. I have extra plastic biodegradable (deposit,no return) bags for each potty.
4. Latrine duty should be about ONE day each! (That would make it nice for everyone!)
5. MUST practice CAREFUL hygiene and keep things clean and WASH those hands with soap/water or the ALCARE (see below)
6. An "outbreak" of the Heard Hustle could have disastrous consequences for EVERYONE!
D. Communicable Diseases
1. Fecal-oral stuff
a. Heard Hustle gastroenteritis (you heard it first right here!)
b. Hepatitis A, etc
c. The M.D.'s will be reminding all of you the incredible ease of fecal-oral contamination!
2. Viruses (colds/flu, etc)
3. Not just good, but GOOD handwashing is imperative.
4. Baby-wipes thingys should be brought by everyone for helping with personal/private parts cleaning.
5. Everyone will be issued a little can (easily fits into pocket) of emolliated alcohol foam ("ALCARE") for keeping your hands/face clean. It does NOT necessarily remove grime, but it does remove a lot of things. It completely evaporates, so no need for towel, etc. A little squirt will go a long way.
6. Please bring a pair of pocket nail clippers to keep your nails short, as this will greatly lessen the fecal-oral contamination problem.
E. Environment
1. Hypothermia/frostbite Layered, synthetic, breathable (Gore-Tex) clothing is a MUST. Long underwear and socks should be the kind that will wick away moisture from the skin.
2. Dehydration Will need to drink fluids
3. Overexertion Common sense
4. Guano/sand It will get into EVERYTHING.
III. Personnel
A. Personal hygiene You have the potential to have everyone remember you! PLEASE be considerate of others.
B. Clothing/perspiration
1. See above.
2. Synthetic clothing. Make sure your clothing will wick away moisture and outer garments can breathe.
C. Body Odors
1. Please bring plenty of deodorant.
2. Consider something like "Odor Eaters" for your shoes.
D. Bad breath
1. Please don't forget your toothbrush.
2. Use it often
E. Shoes
1. Must have waterproof, and preferably breathable shoes/boots.
2. Most of theses shoes will have a type of Vibram sole, which will be VERY efficient at tracking in copious quantities of penguin guano and sand.
3. We will have plastic basins (with salt water) in them and toilet type of brushes. PLEASE clean your shoes before entering ANY shelter!
4. For most of the time, you can wear a pair of the plastic knee boots I am bringing for everyone. I got them generously sized, so you can wear 2-3 pairs of socks in them. They clean VERY easily and are totally waterproof. The problem is that they don't breath too well. I have worn this type of boot in the frigid cold of Minnesota without problem (IF enough socks). I wear them 10-12 hours a day a couple days a week in the operating room....so they are comfortable.
F. Smokers
1. Do we have any in the group?
2. Please smoke outdoors and NOT in any of the shelters for two reasons: Fire hazard and respect for non-smokers.
IV. Living Quarters
A. Tracking in (sand, guano) see above
B. Keeping clean
1. Please keep shoes clean/off
2. Please use the brooms every chance you get.
C. Respect for others!
D. Fluid management: need to watch your fluid intake so rush trips to relieve oneself in the middle of the night is minimized. This will help keep living quarters cleaner and help the rest of us get better sleep.
V. Showers
A. YES! for real! A HOT one at that!
B. This is a separate category: This should be the first in history for DXpeditions like this!
C. You won't believe what the Clean Czar has come up with!
D. I have about 10 or so battery powered surgical lavage units that draw up water (warmed!) and spray it out like a shower.
E. I propose a "shower with a friend" scheme, as it will really take someone else holding the shower for you.
F. Wet, scrub, rinse: conserving water.
G. Stand outside and "blow dry" ....or is that "freeze dry?"
H. When the batteries run out (supposedly each unit good for 30 liters), jury-rigging to 6-12 VDC (Lantern battery) will run it.
I. Will try to make a shower stall with wood planks in one of the old ANARE buildings or maybe use one of the containers.
J. Every 2-3 days maybe we could use 1 liter each for showers.
VI. Equipment
A. Radios/headsets/computer
B. Excellent source for contamination!
C. Bring own personal headsets/mike
D. Recommend "wipes" for cleaning things
E. Remember to brush your teeth before taking your radio shift. (If you don't the next guy using the mike will wish you had!)
VII. Environment
A. Animals
1. Bites Give them their distance
2. Seal Finger Even a scrape on a sharp "marine environment" object can cause this problem infection.
B. Birds
1. GUANO - you won't miss it. It will be EVERYWHERE.
2. Skua birds (potentially our gravest hazard) Two people who have been to Heard have independently warned me of these birds. These large gull-like birds silently fly up behind their prey and pluck out the eyes to down their prey. An old Viking torture would be to stake out their captured enemies and let the skua birds take over. (Really!) Goggles or glasses might be a safety item to bring along.
3. Imperative that NO ONE take a nap in the sun! Don't laugh! You might get tired on a hike!
4. Hikes away from camp should NOT be alone.
C. Weather
1. Temperature (frostbite)
2. Rain (chill -> hypothermia)
3. Wind (falling objects (antennae)) "The WIND will KILL you" is what K8CW (1983) told me. MUST have the best wind-resistant clothing you can get your hands on. Expect 100 mph twice a week.
4. White-out conditions? Possible, not likely
D. Sand
1. Will get into everything
2. Mixed with copious volumes of penguin guano, should manage to permeate every conceivable crevice or orifice.
E. Rock/Ruins
1. The rocks & ruins will most likely be wet and slippery from rain and guano. "Don't run, children!"
2. The ruins will be in a sorry state of decay and sharp rusty edges will be everywhere. Be careful not to snag your clothes or to get cut.
Each person should bring:
- an attitude and determination to make living in guano and sand a FUN and CLEAN thing to do!
- nail clipper
- tooth brush (don't say you weren't reminded!)
- personal towels
- glasses/goggles
- odor eaters for shoe
The Clean Czar has packed the following:
1. CLEAN CZAR BOX #1 (24"H x 24"W x 51"L)
Zimmer Showers x 10
Potty Time toilets x 4
Toilet refills x 8
Plastic basin (20" x 15" x 5")
Kleenex tissue (250 ct) x 4
Toilet paper (9 roll pack) x 3
Wisk broom x 2
Baby wipes (100 ct) x2
AlCare emolliated alcohol hand cleaner, case of 24
Paper towel (180 ct) x 1
Surgical rags (pack of 20) x 2
2. CLEAN CZAR BOX #2 (24"H x 24"W x 45"L)
Plastic basin (20" x 15" x 5") x 4
Toilet bowl brushes x 6 (for cleaning boots)
Toilet paper (9 roll pack) x 1
Paper towel (180 ct) x1
Surgical rags (pack of 20) x 1
Rubber boots x 20
Size 13 x 5
Size 12 x 5
Size 11 x 8
Size 10 x 2
I usually wear a size 11 shoe. I can easily wear a size 9 (wife's), but for a short time. Size 13 is just fine with several pairs of socks. There should be a pair for everyone. These boots are called "knee boots" because of their height. Except for the coldest of weather, I predict everyone will be wearing these boots all of the time. They are comfortable and EASILY slip on & off. Most importantly, they are VERY easy to keep clean.


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Last update: 2 Dec.. 1996 Robert W. Schmieder cordell@ccnet.com