This week at Davis station 16 April 2010

Davis this week has gone from cold to colder, Wednesday's temperature hitting a low of minus 22ºC. That is enough to make your eyebrows and whiskers freeze as this young elephant seal confirms.

Young male elephant seal before the sea froze
Young male elephant seal before the sea froze
Photo: Alison Dean

This week has been business as usual around the station despite the cold. The crusher, out of action until the arrival of a new clutch on Voyage 4, has run almost non-stop during daylight hours, churning through several hundred cubic metres of rock in the process. Ahhh the serenity…

Crusher in action
Crusher in action
Photo: Alison Dean

The rock being crushed is carted by truck from a quarry nearby where controlled blasting during the summer months has loosened substantial quantities of material excellent for surfacing.

A load from the quarry
A load from the quarry
Photo: Alison Dean
A load from the quarry
Another load from the quarry
Photo: Alison Dean

The heavy vehicles have loaded, tipped, bulldozed and rolled out the bumps and lumps around the place making the potentially hazardous business of travelling from one building to another a lot safer and more predictable even with snow. There must be something about big diggers though as it is hard to get these guys to stop.

The finished product
The finished product
Photo: Alison Dean

At night for our entertainment we are sometimes lucky enough to have a light show courtesy of the aurora australis, and the LIDAR, that remarkable green laser beam that gathers information as it pierces the different layers of the atmosphere to the very outer reaches, over 80 kms up.

The Aurora Australia and LIDAR beam
The Aurora Australia and LIDAR beam
Photo: Zupy

Occasionally the photographers get even luckier and capture meteors entering Earth's atmosphere at the same time.

Shooting star with aurora australis
Shooting star with aurora australis
Photo: Ben O
Shooting star, aurora and Lidar
Shooting star, aurora and LIDAR
Photo: Zupy

This week the new Living Quarters were incorporated into the Davis circuitry. While the power was down to most buildings allowing this to be done, we once again moved the frozen food around. Voyage 4 brought us a refrigerated container to store the extra food required for this winter to feed higher numbers on station to fit out the LQ.

Davis expeditioners unload container
Group effort
Photo: Alison Dean
Davis expeditioners working
Andy and partner
Photo: Alison Dean

And as the sun sets over the icebergs – I'm off for tea. See you next time…

Alison Dean
Davis Station Leader

This page was last modified on 29 March 2010.