This week at Davis: 26 April 2019

Our seascape transforms

Sea Ice & Anzacs

This week the majority of our sweat and attention was given to two things…undertaking initial tests of the sea ice within our station recreation limits and Anzac Day planning.

Everyone on station has kept a keen eye on the transformation in front of us, watching what once was our waterfront view, slowly but surely morphing into solid sea ice that will soon support vehicle transport within our operating area and eventually…(dare we say it already!?)…resupply.

Starting off as a thin film known as grease ice around mid-March, it made a few attempts to solidify with each thwarted by any half reasonable wind event.  By the end of March however, it had firmed up enough to resist and quickly began to change the landscape – a pretty spectacular process to witness.

This week we conducted two days of drilling to assess thickness, with the initial testing conducted in dry suits, with a range of additional safety equipment on standby at the shoreline.  As we hoped, the numbers were good, ranging from 45-51cm in front of station and 38cm approximately 3km off shore, where we would access Gardner Island.  A great start and affording some new experiences with the area now open for access by foot, mountain bike (with oversized fat tyres and chains!) and skis.

Anzac Day made this a really special week with three servicemen of our own and many of us experiencing an Antarctic dawn service for the first time.  Under a 10am sunrise and perfect weather of light snowfall and negligible wind, with thoughtful reflection we offered respect and gratitude to our service men and women.  It was a moving and intimate event for our small team of 19, in the absolute silence only somewhere like Antarctica can create.

On the lighter side of this important national day, we enjoyed amazing food with traditional Anzac touches, some great movies and a loud, hotly contested game of two-up - with the winner happily taking away the prize…passing his Saturday duties to the SL.

It was an honour to share the day with everyone here.

Simon Goninon (Station Leader)

Davis Station Anzac dawn service
Davis remembers them. Lest we forget.
(Photo: Neil B)
Davis Station Anzac dawn service
Davis Anzac Day dawn service - commemorative address
(Photo: Neil B)
Davis Station Anzac Day flags
Davis Station Anzac Day with flags at half mast until noon
(Photo: Simon G)
Davis three past/current serving
Our three past/current serving - MacGyver, Glenn and Matt
(Photo: Greg S)
Davis Anzac Day two-up
Two-up....high stakes!
(Photo: Simon G)
Davis Station Anzac Day food
Nick's Anzac bikkies, hard tack and beef jerky.
(Photo: Neil B)
Initial testing of sea ice
Getting geared up for initial testing of sea ice
(Photo: Simon G)
First ice drill 20m off shore
First drill 20m off shore - great numbers
(Photo: Simon G)
Sea ice drilling team
Forecast....sunny but cold (!)
(Photo: Joe B)
Sea ice drilling team
Perfect conditions for it!
(Photo: Joe B)
Davis sea ice
Recreation area open for business...foot, mountain bike and ski travel!
(Photo: Simon G)