This week at the station

This week at Davis: 17 May 2013

Station darts final

After a fiercely contested competition over the month of April, it had come down to the battle of two for who would become the Davis winterer darts champion of 2013!

There had been upsets, there had been tears and cheers, there had been controversy, but all that was forgotten as our two gladiators strode to the dart board to the motivating chords of the Rocky theme and stirring introduction by the self appointed commentator, Aaron.

Both had game styles as different as their approach to this final game. Nick, the surprise finalist who had an almost contempt to the finer finesse of the game, appeared in his robe ready to take the fight to Gavin who had taken to the game early in Summer. Gavin strode to the board, glass of wine in hand, seemingly gaining a few extra kilos since dinner.

The previous two games between Nick and Gav, our two Bureau of Meteorology representatives here at Davis, had been very low key games with a small audience. But at one game apiece, the scene was set for a monumental clash of the titans. The station's population gathered to see the final battle. Tim, the station darts captain for the upcoming inter-station darts comp, outlined the rules of the competition and the doc stepped in to be official scorer.

Gavin was able to get a good lead on Nick after closing 20s early with a good triple dart. Nick seemed to take a while to settle. Was it the pressure of the finals, the audience, or in his stomach after the fine Indian banquet just put on by Rocket less than 30 minutes earlier? Whatever the reason, the lead looked to be insurmountable but quickly wore away to become a deficit as yet again Gavin struggled to close out the doubles. But Nick was having his own trouble closing out beds and the lead changed yet again with Gavin finally coming up trumps at 268/230.

Congratulations to Nick for making it through to the finals and to Gavin for a hard fought victory. Gavin would like to thank his coaches through summer and winter that honed his skills and to the rest of the Davis crew for supporting the game on the evening. (Even if most of that support appeared to go Nick’s way)

There is now talk around the station of banning Meteorology from any other competitions as both Nick and Gavin have been the finalists in both the poker and darts tournaments! Is it luck? Skill? Or the fact we all know that they use a dartboard and tarot cards for forecasts? If their darts are that accurate, the forecasts should be good in the future.

Gavin standing in front of dart board
Gavin psyches himself for the game
(Photo: Jeff)
Tim and Gavin and Nick in front of dart board while others watch
Tim goes through the rules of engagement
(Photo: Keith)
Gavin and Nick shaking hands
Gavin and Nick wish each other luck before the game
(Photo: Jeff)
Gavin holding his hands over Nick’s eyes as he takes aim at the dart board
Gavin showing the form that won him the competition
(Photo: Jeff)

Timely reminder

With the impending opening of the sea ice and successful drills so far, permission was sought and gained from Kingston to test the sea ice on another popular travel route to Watts hut. With a thorough brief from the station leader, Tim, Gavin, Pat and Simon set out for an overnight stay at Watts while measuring the depth of the sea ice along the designated route, which included a notoriously shallow area known as 'The Narrows'. Measurements were good at 500+mm and arriving at Waypoint seven, a narrow spit of land forming Ellis Narrows, it was decided to check in on the radio before proceeding. Being in the shadow of a hill, Gavin was sent to higher ground to make the call while the others did a few test drills on foot while they waited for his return.

At about the same time as Gavin heard the sound of running water, the others saw an open expanse of water where rapids flowing through the narrows were melting the ice as we watched. Ice drills confirmed that we couldn’t proceed any further on the quads with the ice thickness dropping to an average of only 380mm. A timely reminder to always be vigilant on the ice and to not just assume things will be ok. Although disappointed that we could proceed no further, we all climbed to the top of the hill to enjoy the unusual (for this time of the year) sights and sounds of running water.

On calling in to advise we were heading back to station, Jason (station leader) advised that we had been approved to proceed to Brookes for our overnight stay if we wanted to as that route had been proven safe the previous week. The sentence was barely finished before there was a unanimous "Yes!” from the group.

The remainder of the trip around to Brookes was uneventful and allowed the group time to just take in the magnificent scenery of the Vestfolds and icebergs moored in the sea ice. That night, around a cheese platter, the usual conversations of solving the world’s problems took place while outside, nature put on a dual spectacle of a faint aurora australis and diamond dust (ice crystals falling from a clear sky).

The smell of bacon cooking was a great way to wake up and, after cleaning and securing the hut from the elements, the group returned back to station after making several stops on the way for the mandatory photos in front of an iceberg.

Panorama showing Ellis Narrows
Panorama showing Ellis Narrows
(Photo: Gavin)
Quads in the foreground with expeditioners in the distance on the sea ice
The quads wait on land while the group go on foot to…
(Photo: Gavin)
Rime Ice and snow covers an old weather Station, with Tim, Pat and Simon in the  background
An old automatic weather station at the Narrows reflects the climate
(Photo: Gavin)
Brookes hut at night under a faint aurora
Brookes hut at night under a faint aurora
(Photo: Gavin)
An iceberg gives of a blue hue under the light of a cloudy dawn sky
Part of an Iceberg against the late dawn sky
Gavin kneels in front of an iceberg moored in the sea ice
Gavin has his mandatory photo in front of an iceberg
(Photo: Pat)