Zack Bennett and John Taylor next to the completed blubber bund in Scott’s ‘Discovery’ hut. © AHT/Al Fastier
At Scott’s Discovery hut at Hut Point, a stack of seal blubber within the hut has been oozing oil onto the adjacent floorboards during the warm summer months. Visitors have been stepping on the oil when walking into the hut and tracking it through the building. This stack was lifted and a low-profile bund installed underneath to retain the oil.
Al Fastier described the operation: “We always knew lifting the blubber was not going to be easy, but after much brainstorming and armed with a selection of wooden wedges, levers and rollers we successfully lifted the blubber to expose a thick layer of black residual ooze. At this stage the challenge was to remove the blubber residue on the wooden floorboards before the bund could be installed.”
The conservators persevered through the very sticky and challenging task of removing the residue using scrapers, a ski-waxing iron and blotter paper before the bund could be placed into position.