23 May 2008

Emperor Penguin Project

Gary and Robyn commenced work at Auster Rookery this week and have enlisted the assistance of Mawson expeditioners.

The primary goal of this project is to determine the status and origin of diseases in emperor penguins. They will investigate the origins of such diseases to study the role humans may have played in bringing them to Antarctica.

This work involves capturing and sampling both adults and chicks 4 different times of the year (during the winter months) with each sampling period requires 2 – 3 weeks at Auster.

Hagglunds ready to leave Mawson Station for Auster Rookery
Hagg ready to leave Station for Auster
Photo: Graeme F
Expeditioners standing near quads
Nick farewells Gary and Robyn
Photo: Graeme F
Expeditioners at Auster Rookery with penguins in background
Tony and Dom at Auster
Photo: Robyn M
Expeditioner setting up the RMIT Van at Auster Rookery
Setting up the RMIT Van at Auster
Photo: Robyn M
Expeditioner carrying gear from sled. Hagglunds in  background
Setting up at Auster
Photo: Robyn M
Expeditioner gently directing the penguins towards the pen
Gary gently directing the penguins towards the pen
Photo: Robyn M
Auster Rookery
Auster Rookery
Photo: Robyn M
Emperor penguins at Auster Rookery
Emperor's waiting their turn
Photo: Robyn M
Expeditioner with face mask and eyebrows iced up
It's cold work – Robyn
Photo: Robyn M
Expeditioners weighing an Emperor penguin at Auster Rookery
Weighing in at 33kg
Photo: Robyn M
Expeditioner with captured Emperor penguin on sled being towed by other Expeditioners
Gary and Charlie towing Geoff and an emperor
Photo: Robyn M

Haggland Recovery Training

Before heading off to Auster Rookery over the sea-ice, Dom and Tony ensured all Mawson expeditioners knew what to do if the Hagg were to get bogged or break through the sea ice. Over two half days, all expeditioners attended Hagg recovery training.

Expeditioners undertaking Hagglunds recovery training
Unloading recovery gear from the roof
Photo: Jodi W
Expeditioners setting up equipment for Hagglunds recovery training
Setting up
Photo: Jodi W
Hagglunds recovery training at Mawson Station
Ready, set…go. Charlie giving instructions
Photo: Jodi W

Weekly Darts Competition

The dart board gets a great work out most nights and the majority of expeditioners can hit the board, however, Jock, has been known to miss on occasions…..our advice, wear protective gear when competing with or against Jock.

Cartton of Expeditioners wearing protective gear for darts game
Boj, Zane and Doc wearing protective gear
Photo: Nick C

How cold is it ?

It's cold……this is what happens when you throw boiling water into the air in -25 degree C temps

Mawson Station chef throwing boiling water into the  minus 25 degree Celsius air
Zane throwing a jug of boiling water
Photo: Tony B
Boiling water evaporating as it's thrown into minus 25 degrees Celsius air
Boiling water evaporating
Photo: Tony B

Saturday Night Special

Last Saturday night Mawson expeditioners were treated to a special Indian dinner. Sheik Jock and his younger brother Habib Dave entertained everyone – they told us all about their childhood in Calcutta with their hard to recognise Indian accents.

Expeditioner in costume for Saturday night dinner at Mawson Station
Sheik Jock
Photo: Tony B
Expeditioners in costume for Saturday night dinner at Mawson Station
Habib Dave and Sheik Jock
Photo: Tony B
Expeditioners at Mawson Station enjoying Saturday night special Indian dinner
Habib Dave serving the hungry
Photo: Tony B