6 October 2006
After several weeks of continual bad weather at Mawson with high wind and/or blizzards, we experienced some lovely weather last weekend and this week, which permitted some long awaited time off station.
So we have now enjoyed the delightful experience of another visit to the emperor penguins at Auster rookery. The chicks are now about 2 ½ months old and in good weather, are spending most of the time off their parents' feet and gathered into crèches.
The opportunity to experience the wonders of the emperor's life cycle and get photographs of these fascinating and immensely appealing creatures is of course a most memorable highlight of one's time at Mawson.
On the way, we saw the first Weddell seal pup of the year, and our first returning snow petrels, so spring is really sprung! The opportunity was also taken to visit and photograph some of the jade bergs we have found out towards Macey island, and a magnificent ice arch in the coastal ice cliff in West Bay.
Our focus on station is now very much on the impending changeover and "light re-supply" by helicopter, now just a month away. The sea ice around here is still in great condition and thickening slowly. With fast ice out to around 80 km, and heavy pack ice to well beyond that, there will be much interest in satellite ice pictures and the progress of the Aurora Australis (our ship) starting in a week's time.
Regards from all at Mawson.