People in Antarctica

Winter Casey trades team
Winter Casey trades team (Photo: Tod Iolovski)
Collection trip at Ellis Fjord A female scientist in the lab with a shellfish for analysisExpeditioner at Wilkins aerodrome

Is it very different living in Antarctica?

In some obvious ways it is different from Australia, such as living among snow and ice and having very long periods of darkness in winter and light in summer. And of course it is very cold and often windy, like the top of a mountain. Living ‘in the field’, away from the main station, you experience this difference very strongly.

In other ways Antarctic life is quite like ‘home’ – people at the stations have fully insulated living and working quarters with their own rooms and bath/toilet facilities. The food is also very similar to what you would eat at home, although there is less fresh fruit and vegetables. Like at home, people must be able to live and work alongside other people and learn to be tolerant and supportive of others. This is sometimes difficult in a small community of 20 or so people living close to each other for many months.

[Video]

Sea ice drilling: Mawson to Auster Rookery

Video transcript

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘I’!

‘I’?

Idiot!

These is Pete, Mark and we’re expeditioners for the Australian Antarctic Division and today we’re drilling the sea ice.

I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘s’!

‘s’?

Ahhh, snow! Snow!

Mark, why do we drill the sea ice, mate?

We’re just proving the Mawson to Macey route which is the main route out to the Auster Rookery.

And what’s the minimum distance we need?

We need about 600 mm – we need 600 mm to drive the Hagg on it.

Turn around, look at that – we’ve got a good 685, 690.

How good is that mate?

That’s excellent.

[end transcript]