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STORIES FROM THE FIELD

by Rebecca Ballard – Geology student, Deakin University
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Young July Drilling Program, 2018 : Washing the Core……

Gawd I love my job! So most of my work for this program is in an administration capacity. But from time to time, I annoy the boys enough that they allow me near the geology and I can get my hands dirty! And in this case, my whole self dirty! Today I learnt to wash the core! The core comes to us straight from the drillers covered in a special substance that can only be described as gooey mud. It’s kind of like a sticky, oily substance – some drillers even use a canola based lubricant – so picture oily, […]

Week One and Two – Young Drilling, July 2018

So, I’m here again! In Young, NSW. It’s becoming all too familiar. Although it is my MOST favourite time of the year to be in Young. It’s cold, crisp, the land is fresh and beautiful. And I’m loving it…….! Rather than bore the world with daily updates of me doing the same old things over and over (and also due to the fact I am so busy I can’t think straight!) I have decided to update this particular blog in a fortnightly increment – mainly because I am rostered to be here two weeks on and one week off, so […]

Day One – Young Drilling Program February 2018

Another road trip to Young – this time for longer than one night, and we left at a more godly hour of 8am which meant LSM was verbal and not grunting. My ever faithful Dad came to meet us to help us attach our latest acquisition – a u-beaut double axle trailer WITH cage – oh yes! She’s beautiful. And I have named her Loretta. LSM being a little nervous about towing a double axle trailer through Melbourne traffic chose to take us the scenic route to Young, which may have added a few hours to our travel time, but […]

Day Two – Young Field Trip – Again……

I slept like a log!!! An early morning meeting meant an early breakfast and about a 45km trip to one of the most beautiful places in Australia, a place called Thudungra. With the sun rising (and burning my Celtic skin already!) we meet at the letter boxes, a place the locals knew well, which of course, are just a series of letter boxes. Our mission – to look at where the drilling was to take place and to make plans to try and minimise the damage to the property we were drilling on as much as possible. This beautiful land […]

Day One – Young Field Trip – Again……

At 5am, Long Suffering Mentor and I, again begin a road trip to Young, NSW. LSM is NOT a morning person at the best of times, so I expected nothing but grunts and sighs until at least Little River, but she was perkier than normal so we lasted in silence to maybe Leopold. Armed to the teeth with water, thermos, tea and keep cups, we set off on our trek to Young, NSW – again! This time our purpose for the road trip was to meet with the prospective landholders to talk about a drilling program we are working on […]

Day Eleven – Milford Sound to Te Anau- New Zealand

Today……was……the …..best…..day……EVER!!! We had booked the JUCY tour of Milford Sound – being the proud JUCY people we are! Plus the lady at the travel desk said it was an early tour that wouldn’t be crowded and too touristy – so we were in! Bright and early at 8.30am we arrived at the Milford Sound ferry terminal, all set to board a big boat for a tour of Milford Sound. Now, Milford Sound contrary to popular belief is not really a Sound (in Geology, a Sound is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, […]

Day Ten – Queenstown to Milford Sound – New Zealand

It was f*&^ing cold! I think my face froze off overnight! It was so cold that I had to hover over the dunny seat to stop myself sticking to it! Bloody hell New Zealand can get cold…. Anyways, having warmed my nethers over the gas stove, we set off towards Milford Sound. Along the way were more lakes that went on forever, Highland cows that looked mean and hairy, roadkill hedgehogs that I was itching to stop and get a look at (I’ve never seen a hedgehog before!) and even more clear rivers and streams.   We stopped for lunch […]

Day Nine – Franz Josef to Queenstown – New Zealand

Having thoroughly had my tanty overnight regarding the cancelled helicopter trip to Franz Josef Glacier, Long-Suffering Mentor (also known as Cardio Cathy!) decided we would do the Franz Josef Summit walk – one and a half hours walk return but most of it uphill (of course – we ARE going to see a glacier!) and most of it on very uneven surface. Glaciers leave moraines as they retreat, and these moraines are made up of really, really, REALLY unconsolidated rocks. Big rocks, little rocks, really big rocks, really small rocks. Not a walk conducive with recovering from a broken foot. […]

Day Eight – Franz Josef Glacier – New Zealand

Today was the day of adventure……. …..until we woke up and realised the weather was really shit! Like so shit that we couldn’t see the top of the mountain let alone where the glacier was! So we were kind of expecting the bad news…… Still, ever the optimist I set off for my first adventure, quad biking through the terminal moraine! After a quick run through of how to use the quad bike, and a test drive around the course to make sure you weren’t some nufty who would take out the whole group because they forgot where the brake […]

Day Seven – Queenstown to Franz Josef – New Zealand

I woke up – and I could move!! This was a bloody good thing! After a thoroughly enjoyable morning walk along the beautiful braided river I felt even better. We managed to get on the road by 10am after a quick stop to the petrol station, the supermarket AND the pharmacy where I almost had to bend over for a rectal examination to get my extra strength codeine – but I got it! So off we set for Franz Josef! The road to Franz Josef is known as the famous Haas Pass and there’s a reason it is so famous! […]