This week at Mawson: 4 January 2008
Visitors Pop in for a Cuppa
After a number of weeks pushing through thick sea-ice and struggling to land on the Antarctic continent due to poor weather conditions, on the 23rd December the Russian Ice Breaker, The Kapitan Khlebnikov , and its 70+ passengers and crew dropped by for a station visit. On the day of their arrival the weather at Mawson was perfect – blue skies, +3.6 deg C and little wind.
The 'KK' positioned approx 40 nms off the Mawson coast ferried its passengers ashore via helicopters, an operation lasting 7 hours from start to finish. When at Mawson visitors were taken on a walking tour of the station and invited to the Mawson mess for scones and cream, and banana bread.
One passenger on board, Gunter Weller was a Mawson expeditioner back in 1961 and 1965 (42 years ago) and to see his face when he landed was priceless – he said "I want to kiss the ground, I'm home".
Christmas at Mawson
Christmas celebrations started with Mawson's own plumbing contingency 'Plumb Trio' leading the rest of the Mawson team with Christmas Carols. And while we only had the words to 7 carols those carols were practiced, over and over a number of times into the wee hours of the night.
And, as story books describe, Santa knows where all the 'good' expeditioners reside. Santa and his two quad riding reindeers (who found sea-ice travelling way too hard) made their way to Mawson Station all the way from the North Pole to hand out Christmas gifts to all the good expeditioners at Mawson.
And who has been good this year? Expeditioners were invited to sit on Santa's knee to discuss all the good things they had done during the year.
Bechervaise Island Adélie Chicks
A number of the Mawson expeditioners were able to visit Bechervaise Island last week to see the new chicks; some had hatched, and some were still in the process of hatching.