This Week at Davis: 4 June 2010

Davis Station, Antarctica 68º35'S 77º58'E

Yesterday (Wednesday 2nd June) was the last day at Davis when any part of the sun rose above the horizon until into July. To mark the occasion Zupy made another short video that shows one of our last clear days when the sun made a brief appearance.

I was admonished for not including the Davis jade berg in last week's News so felt I had to redeem myself this week.

Jade iceberg near Davis station
Davis jade berg taken by the Bandits team – by popular demand.
Photo: AR
Closeup image of Jade iceberg near Davis station
And again to keep Pete sweet, and to use one of the several hundred he has of this berg.
Photo: PH

Last weekend I went to Platcha with Kim, Jeff and Rob, my first trip of any length on a quad. I never felt anything but warm so I must have had enough layers. In fact I don't think there was one cm of skin showing to the elements – I could barely walk but that was beside the point.

Our trip down was slightly eventful in that two of the quads got bogged in an area where we found it pays to stay exactly on the waypointed route. Luckily for us the quads were easily reversed out and we continued without further mishap.

The wind started blowing as we neared Platcha hut, and never stopped until we got back to station. We amused ourselves with plenty of games, eating, laughing, reading, more eating, and lots of sleeping.

Davis station Expeditioners at Platcha field hut
Rob, Ali, Jeff, Kim – cosy in Platcha with our blangs.
Photo: KdL

On our return to station we saw a lone Emperor way down Long Fjord, many kms from open water. She had worn her flippers / wings ragged with scooting along the ice – going inland it seems. We squatted down and she hobbled over to have a closer look – seemingly taken with Rob and Jeff when they started flapping their arms. She followed when we jumped on the quads and slowly departed, well I like to think so.

Davis station Expeditioners kneeling on the ice after spotting a lone Emperor penguin
Hunkering down to penguin level – Ali, Kim and Jeff.
Photo: RL
Lone Emperor penguin approaching Davis station Expeditioners
She spots us in the distance – Jeff, Kim, Ali in loose colourful huddle.
Photo: RL
Davis station Expeditioner doing his best penguin impersonation
Jeff makes like a penguin, or is it a geep.
Photo: RL

Lone Emperor penguin
Precursor to a loud trumpet.
Photo: RL
Closeup of Emperor penguin
Eye upon you.
Photo: RL
Davis station quads ready to go
Quads at the ready.
Photo: KdL

Today eleven travelled the route up from Bried Basin to the plateau and out to Whoop Whoop, to pick up more equipment and start practising the skills required for the planned traverse to Amanda Bay at the end of the month.

Davis station Blue Hagglund moving across the plateau
Blue Hagg coming up the rear.
Photo: KdL
Davis station Expeditioner keeping warm inside the Hagglund
Frank warms up in the Hagg.
Photo: BO'L
Sun still visible above the horizon on the plateau above Davis station
Sun still up at around 300 m – on the plateau.
Photo: KdL

Darkening days but work goes on nevertheless.

Davis station Expeditioner with D6 field support vehicle
Man and machine – Matt communing with the D6.
Photo: MP

Kim is always producing something sumptuous from the kitchen – heaven knows what the midwinter medicals will show – let you know next week …

Bread and butter pudding prepared by Davis station chef
Kim's Bread and Buttery goodness.
Photo: PH