This week at the station

This week at Davis: 8 February 2013

Resupply at Davis

It has been a very busy two weeks for all expeditioners at Davis with the Aurora Australis arriving at the station last Friday 25th. The following eleven days have seen over 600 tons of cargo and 600,000 litres of fuel delivered to the station in the first over-water resupply here for many years. Traditionally the resupply is carried out over sea ice much earlier in the season. All expeditioners on station are involved in the resupply process as well as getting their last minute jobs completed before departing Davis for home. This season the Davis summer crew will have to cool their heels on the ship for a few weeks as they will have one more stop over at Mawson station before heading for Hobart.

Voyage leader looking out port hole of the Aurora Australis
Voyage leader oversees operations
(Photo: G. Heatherington-Tait)

Refuelling and cargo

During resupply, everyone on station is expected to get involved. This could include being on the refuelling roster which operates around the clock once commenced and will not stop until the required amount of fuel has been delivered. With a combination of set-up, pumping and pack-up times, this operation took around 30 hours to complete, all the while cargo operation continued during the daytime working hours. The cargo is lifted from the ship onto a barge which then transports its load to the wharf approximately two kilometres each way. Once at the wharf, the load is lifted by the station crane onto a truck and delivered to station. 

Aurora Australis with refueling hose laying on top of the water into station
Aurora Australis refuelling Davis
(Photo: J. Ahrens)
Veiw of water craft boat with Aurora Australis in the back ground
Watercraft crew at work (1/2)
(Photo: R.Youd)
Watercraft lifting fuel hose over a block of floating ice
Watercraft crew at work (2/2)
(Photo: G.Heatherington-Tait)
Davis crane unloading the barge at the wharf
Barge at the wharf
(Photo: j.Ahrens)
A large group of people unloading a container of food into the station store.
Many hands make light work
(Photo: j.Ahrens)

Then there were 17

The Aurora Australis departed Davis at midday on Sunday 3rd and has now travelled to Mawson, which is also due for resupply this voyage, before heading north back to Hobart, Tasmania. With the station population going from around 90 expeditioners over the summer to now only 17 for the next nine months, significant change to the station dynamics will occur. While it was sad to say goodbye to the people we have become friends within a very short time over summer, it is also nice to now settle into what we will know as station life until the Aurora Australis returns once again with our replacements sometime around October-November.

The main kitchen with only empty seats.
Where can I sit?
(Photo: J.Ahrens)
Sun setting over the wharf at the end of resupply
The sun sets over resupply operations at Davis
(Photo: J.Ahrens)