From Broken Hill to Antarctica

HAVE you ever thought about just hitting the highway in search of a completely different life? Well, you’re not alone.

Shane Mann, a former Broken Hill mechanic, is slowly making his way back across the Southern Ocean between Tasmania and Antarctica to return to his job after an eight-month break travelling the world, so we caught up for a chat during his voyage across the 4,838km stretch of icy water this week.

“So, I’m doing a round trip as the refuelling supervisor for this voyage to Davis station, then I’m due back in Hobart in early December.

“Voyage two will take me to Casey Research Station for a round trip for resupply, and back in mid-January, and then I’ll be heading to Macquarie Island Research Station from April for 12 months,” Mr Mann told us.

“It took me a few goes to get a position with AAD [Australian Antarctic Division] as there were a lot of hoops to jump through, but I finally secured the job as a mechanic at Casey station in 2017.

“This voyage to Davis station is going to take around three weeks, which includes some science projects along the way including sea ice trials for the new ship.

“We have eight to 10 days set aside for resupply with my role as refuelling coordinator for about three days, weather permitting,” explained Mr Mann.

“I’ve been living in Broken Hill since 1991 but I recently sold my house there because I’ve always loved my job as a mechanic, but being in Antarctica is a bonus.

“I guess I’m homeless right now,” he laughed, “but I’m on a three-year contract so there’s plenty of time to find my paradise. I love the Hill, it’s a great place to live. I’ve made a lot of good friends there, so I have plenty of reasons to come home for a visit one day.”

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