This week at the station

This week at Davis: 31 January 2014

Nick's Cryptic Cartoon

This week, Nick has supplied us with another of his original cryptic cartoons. Hopefully, you can work out the answer.

The answer to Nick’s last cryptic cartoon was 'fast ice'. 

A cartoon of a man sitting on a reptile
Cryptic cartoon - Do you know what the answer is?
(Photo: Nick.C)

Australia Day celebrations

There are few days that are celebrated like Australia Day at Davis. This day - like no other - signifies home, family and friends. Davis goes to a lot of effort to make expeditioners feel like being at home and then adds some of its own Australian traditions like the summer swim.

None of these Davis Australia Day festivities would be possible without the huge preparation that goes into making it all work. The Davis band 'Blue Slots' who absolutely mesmerized the crowd with their music on the Saturday night, had practised for weeks. They were fantastic.

It is simple to have a game of cricket in Australia but a bit more difficult here at Davis. With a bit of ingenuity and creativity the stands were built, the cricket pitch laid and the oval rolled.

The Australia Day swim was also a bit unusual this year as overnight with the cold temperatures, the sea had refrozen and there was at least a half inch of grease ice on the surface. This meant sending in the 'life guard' to crack the ice prior to the swimmer taking to the water. It just added to the excitement.

Although it was cold, we had brilliant sunshine and what better way to finish off Australia day than a spit roast and a few beers while sitting outside in the sun with your mates. This year Russian expeditioners flew over to help us enjoy our national day. I think I will let the photos tell the story of Australia Day at Davis.

A heavy roller on the Davis beach preparing a cricket pitch
Rolling the cricket pitch and building the grand stand
(Photo: Bill.D)
Excavator moving sea ice from the Davis Beach
Removing the sea ice in preparation for the swim
(Photo: Bill.D)
An expeditioner in a dry suit in the water breaking up the ice
Life guard 'Stuart' breaking up the grease ice
(Photo: Bill.D)
An expeditioner in a dry suit standing on a block of ice
'Stuart' the life guard ready for duty
(Photo: Bill.D)
About twenty expeditioners in their bathers posing for a photo prior to the swim
Ready, set and go!
(Photo: Bill.D)
Two expeditioners running out of the sea water at davis
Bruce and Rhys - last in and first out
(Photo: Bill.D)
Three expeditioners running out of the water
At least the girls weren't first out!
(Photo: Bill.D)
A group of expeditioners in the cold sea water of Davis
This is fun!
(Photo: Corey.B)
A group of expeditioners sitting near a container.
The crowd watching the cricket
(Photo: Bill.D)
Elephant seals on the beach with cricket being played in the background.
Even the elephant seals enjoyed the game!
(Photo: Barb.F)
Expeditioners dancing to the music from the band
The band 'Blue Slots' got everyone up and dancing
(Photo: Corey.B)
An expeditioner playing the keyboards
Layla on keyboards
(Photo: Corey.B)
An expeditioner singing in front of the band.
Stacey leading the band with another big song!
(Photo: Corey.B)
Three singers in front of the band
Paul, Stacey and Theo entertaining the crowd
(Photo: Corey.B)
Four Russian expeditioners singing a song
Our Russian friends were keen to get involved
(Photo: Bill.D)
Group of expeditioners sitting on the balcony at Davis
A BBQ to finish the weekend. What a setting!
(Photo: Bill.D)

Field training

This week I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of expeditioners that got to spend four days hiking through the Vestfold Hills with Billy, one of our field training officers, to complete a travel training course. This would give us the skills required to work toward becoming a trip leader so we are able to take other expeditioners on walks through our magnificent backyard. On our first day we walked from Davis to Watts hut, located in the southern region of the Vestfold Hills. Along the way we learnt how to read our maps, take direction bearings using our compass and how to use the local geography, such as hills and lakes, to identify our position on the map. One of the highlights of the day was climbing Tarbuck Crag, one of the higher hills in the Vestfolds (at 143 m), and getting an amazing 360 degree view of the area, from the plateau to the sea.

Our second day took us southwest down to the Mule Peninsula, where we learned how to use our GPS to find our position on our maps and how to navigate using waypoints. We found a high point that gave us a great view of Ellis Fjord, the Sorsdal Glacier and the giant 2.36 km long iceberg that broke off the Sorsdal around Christmas last year. On our return to our overnight refuge at Marine Plain, we were instructed on the steps to take if a member of our party was injured and how to ensure that they were kept warm and comfortable while we waited for help to arrive. On day three we walked back to Watts hut, climbing some of the high points along the way to enjoy the views. After lunch at the hut we decided to go for a walk to see some of the lakes to the south of Watts Hut and climb a few more peaks. We all took turns testing our navigation skills and were given a tutorial on how to use our satellite phone as an alternative means of communication in an emergency. After a great nights sleep at Watts Hut we packed our bags one last time and walked back to Davis, being sure to take a different path to our walk in to make things interesting. In total we walked 55 km over the four days and everyone in our party was in good health and great spirits when we arrived home.

Four expeditioners on field training on top of a hill
On top of Tarbuck Crag
(Photo: Kimberley.W)
Expeditioner standing near Ellis Fjord
Alison overlooking Watts hut
(Photo: Kimberley. W)
Two expeditioners face the camera while a weddell seal languishes on the ice
Surprised by a weddell weal on the ice near Watts hut
(Photo: Kimberley.W)
Expeditioners pointing in different direction
A difference in opinion in which direction to take
(Photo: Kimberley.W)
Four expeditioners trying to read a map
Putting our map reading skills to the test
(Photo: Kimberley. W)
Expeditioner in a hut cooking
Billy whipping up some dessert at Marine Plain 'apples' (field hut)
(Photo: Stacy.D)
Expeditioners using maps
Billy teaching us how to read the local geography
(Photo: Stacy.D)
An expeditioner looking at a lake
Alison taking in the view at Lebed Lake
(Photo: Stacy.D)
An expeditioner resting on his back pack
Matt having a well deserved rest at the top of a hill
(Photo: Stacy.D)
Two expeditioners on top of a hill
Stacy celebrating our ascent to a local high point
(Photo: Stacy.D)
Expeditioners having dinner in a field hut
Enjoying dinner at Watts hut
(Photo: Stacy.D)
An expeditioner standing next to a lake, taking in the scenery
Billy taking in the magnificent scenery of the Vestfold Hills
(Photo: Stacy. D)
Two expeditioners in a field hut having a cuppa tea
Stacy and Tina enjoying a cuppa at Marine Plain field hut
(Photo: Tina.D)
Four expeditioners pondering over a map
Where to next?
(Photo: Tina.D)
This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.