This week at Davis station 28 May 2010

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

As the days shorten we focus more and more on the night sky, Zupy has been making movies of the Aurora Australis and has posted one on YouTube that is worth a visit.

The humble cup of coffee has attained lofty status here at Davis. We have the machine – you need a license to drive it (plus a few more inches in my case – I can't see to make the perfect union of milk and steam!)

But there are those amongst us that can. The Met boys have turned coffee into an art form and here is the proof. Nice to know they will be gainfully employed once they head back home.

Coffee artistry from Davis station
Hellboy's artistry in foam.
Photo: NH
Coffee artistry at Davis station
Fine foamy fern.
Photo: NH

Last weekend two groups went forth across the sea ice into the Vestfold Hills to get away for a few days.

Pete, Tom, Chris and Roachy went to Bandits hut via Pioneer Crossing, drilling the route up Tryne Fjord. They spent a couple of nights in the hut with the wind whistling around them, then came back via iceberg alley, which offered plenty of photo opportunities.

View from Bandits field hut near Davis station
Antarctic view from Bandits to plateau.
Photo: PH
Diorite (rock) dyke near Bandits field hut near Davis station
Diorite dyke near Bandits hut (sooner or later the rock images creep in).
Photo: PH
Davis station Expeditioners at Bandits field hut
Bandits hut, Tom in red, Chris in orange.
Photo: PH

Davis station Expeditioners in Iceberg Alley
First of many down iceberg alley, Tom in red, Chris in orange, Roachy in yellow.
Photo: PH
Sunset behind the icebergs near Davis station
Sunset behind the icebergs on the way home.
Photo: PH
Moon rising behind Davis station
Back to station as the moon rises behind Davis.
Photo: PH

Today (Thursday 27th) is Chris' birthday. Kim made him a pavlova (don't start me on the origins of that one) with the works, fruit on the top and sparklers. He had been driving a Hägg for most of the day so was in his element. Chris has had his share of highs in his time on station,

Davis station Expeditioner at Bandits field hut
Chris at Bandits hut reviving the ANARE spirit.
Photo: CW
Davis station Expeditioner throws a bullseye during darts match
Chris plays his first darts match on station and throws a bullseye.
Photo: PH

and the occasional low …

Sleeping Davis station Expeditioner being taped down
If you snooze, you lose.
Photo: NH

The second group of campers, Linc, Nige, Zupy and Ben went to Platcha hut at the foot of the plateau, stopping to take in the bergs as well before taking time to smell the roses (albeit from afar).

Iceberg near Davis station
They all look fantastic in this light.
Photo: Zupy
Davis station Expeditioner viwing the icebergs
Ben on the ice.
Photo: Zupy
Davis station Expeditioners taking a break during a field trip
Linc and Nige relaxing on the heli deck – halcyon days (above the bliz anyway).
Photo: Zupy

Yesterday a team braved the route up from Bried Basin to the plateau and out to Whoop Whoop, staying overnight at the skiway to prepare the vehicles for the journey back. In true Aussie fashion they barbequed steaks for tea, and bacon for breakfast before packing up and heading back to station in convoy, reminiscent of ice road truckers (or a maybe a gypsy caravan), arriving with perfect timing just before the evening meal.

Morning tea for Davis station Expeditioners in the field
Biggest morning tea plateau style. From left to right Matt A, Chris, Roachy, Nige, Matt A
Photo: MP
Davis station Kassbohrer tracked vehicle moving across the plateau.
Kassbohrer coming across the plateau.
Photo: MP

Davis station blue hagglund heading for Platcha field hut
Blue Hägg heading for Platcha down the slope off the plateau.
Photo: MP
Assorted Davis station vehicles
Red Hägg, Yellow Hägg, Blue Hägg, Kassbohrer and Prinoth.
Photo: AD

Bye for another week…