This week at the station

This week at Davis: 20 September 2013

Evening jade iceberg tour

Last Wednesday it was decided we would take an evening jade berg tour. This berg had been discovered on a previous adventure and then marked with GPS coordinates for all to visit. For this tour we were hoping the sky god would be kind and keep the heavens clear of any cloud.

We took off just after 7pm, one Hagglund and two quads, in the Hagg was Gav, Rich and myself, with Tim and Bob on the quads. The going was slow as there was a lot of soft snow around from the heavy blow we had a few days earlier. It took us about an hour to arrive at our destination with the sun just starting to disappear and yes the sky god had been kind as the skies were perfectly clear.

The guys quickly set up cameras and started taking shots of the berg with the disappearing daylight. The moon was at about one third its full size and the stars filled the clear sky. Then the auroras started to turn on their charm with spectacular displays, all this time the guys were kept busy taking continuous photos which went on for almost three hours.

At about 11pm we headed back to station as we said we would return at midnight although I am sure we all would have been happy to stay out all night with this spectacular display.

By Keith D

A lightly snow covered jade ice berg under the moon light on a very clear night
Jade berg
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
The moon high in the sky above a jade ice berg
Moon above jade berg
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
A green aurora drifting across the night sky with an ice berg in the foreground
Aurora above berg
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
Four expeditioners stand on the sea ice with a dim aurora in the night sky
Group photo with berg and night sky
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
A green aurora drifting across the night sky with an ice berg in the foreground
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
A green aurora drifting across the night sky with a jade ice berg in the foreground
Aurora above jade berg
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
The blue Hagglunds vehicle parked on the sea ice with an ice berg and green aurora in the distance
Bright night sky above the Hagg
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
An expeditioner lying on a quad bike taking in the beauty of the night skies
Tim relaxing while taking in the night sky
(Photo: Gavin H-T)

Davis station minus six expeditioners

This week kind of started on the Sunday rather than the Monday as the station saw six of its expeditioners leave bright and early with a 05:30 start for the Rouse Islands, a good day’s journey from station.

With the absence of six out of a crew of 17 it becomes noticeably quieter.

Sunday was a glorious day of sunshine as has been yesterday and also today Tuesday the 17th of September in which I am writing this. After nearly a year at Davis station it’s nice to take the time to smell the  “proverbial roses” and appreciate the uniqueness of our location and scenic outlook.

It’s also great to appreciate the facilities we have here on station. And every day the gym and sauna room get used by expeditioners not wanting the winter fat to remain permanently on their waistline.

It’s a great little gym which gets used morning noon and night, where some popular activities include doing calisthenics (using the own body weight for things like push ups and chin ups), core strength (basically lots of sit ups), Cardio on bikes and cross trainers and even Tai Chi and yoga that are practiced a number of times a week, if not every day.

Another thing worth appreciating is the infrastructure that’s in place for the station to function well.

Gym frequenters walk over to the Green Store whenever they want to use the gym and health facilities. The walk through the building makes it easy to forget the function of the Green Store. It’s worth noting that it is the lifeblood of the station; our spare parts, dry and canned foods are all stored in this building. There is a racking system and forklift that are used to access and move any goods in and out and the storage area is kept at 16 degree’s Celsius all year round.

Finally one of the tasks that the plumbers and electricians perform is maintaining Site Services. This is a critical aspect of the station functionality in that the Site Service system sends PHHW (primary heating hot water) around to all the buildings that have HVAC or Heating, Ventilation and Cooling Systems. If PHHW isn’t working the buildings will freeze, hence working on the Site Services system take a very high priority. Site Services also deliver potable water and fire systems water to buildings for use in science operations and ablutions. Finally, there is also the sewerage line that disposes of any waste water and sewerage from the buildings. All these services are very well insulated and have electric heat trace against the pipe work to keep the pipes from freezing. Below you can see two of the plumbers, Keith and Paul, working on a potable water line that is part of the Site Services system. The pipe had developed a leak and the outside insulation and cover has to be removed in order to access the leaking pipe.

By Paul K

A photo taken from the front door of the water services building showing the station with the sea ice and ice bergs in the distance
View from the Water Services Building
(Photo: Paul K)
The station gymnasium with weights, tread mill, exercise bike and rowing machine
(Photo: Paul K)
The Sauna, spa and multipurpose exercise room
Sauna, spa and exercise room
(Photo: Paul K)
A fisheye view of the compactus racking in the Green Store
The Green Store
(Photo: Paul K)
Two plumbers working on the site services domestic water line, cutting the pipe lagging with a battery operated reciprocating saw
Plumbers working on Site Services
(Photo: Mal S)