This week at Mawson: 18 July 2008
A beach party, three days of blizzard, a day trip to Auster Rookery, installation of a new heat exchanger to engine No. 1 in the main power house, general works and maintenance programs, and various stock takes dominated out time during the week.
The Beach Party
To encourage the sun to come back, last Saturday night we held a 'beach party' in the dieso's workshop. 17 beach party go-ers wearing boardies, Hawaiian shirts, cossies, sarongs, beach hats and zinc cream UNDER their freezer suits and down jackets left the red shed for the workshop in a mild blizzard.
We had it all….spa, coconut trees, surfboard, music, BBQ and salads.
On the job
As well as our general works and maintenance programs this week for all 17 Mawsonites, Charlie installed the first of four heat exchangers in the main power house, Nick and Graeme commenced work on erecting the wall panels to the first floor of the green store mezzanine project – when completed this area will house a change room, toilet, spa and sauna.
And Boj, after being woken a number of times one night during the week as a result of a few power outages was on a mission to find the cause of the problem in the main power house.
A three day blizzard
Rain, hail, sunshine or even a three day blizzard doesn't stop the Mawson team from working…..the following photos are of expeditioners making their way back to the red shed for lunch during an 80 knot blow.
Gary, Robyn, David and Geoff headed out to Auster Rookery on Tuesday to check on 'the boys'. Most males at Auster are still incubating eggs and were seen in a slow procession across the ice, relocating the site of the huddle.
As it turned out, several females had returned, in timing with the hatching of the very first chicks. Several loud cheeps could be heard, and the group were treated to the sight of a pair of proud parents admiring their new arrival.
Robyn and Gary will continue to keep a close eye on the rookery, counting discarded eggs, and monitoring activities as the females return, chicks hatch, and the males (who go without food for the 65 days it takes to incubate the egg) are relieved of their duties and head out to sea for a much-needed meal.
The next major sampling session is on target for late July, when Gary and Robyn, with support station personnel will continue their study into the presence of avian viruses in emperor penguins.
Sacrificial Offering to the Blizz Gods
This week Mawsonites while finishing off lunch were entertained when they saw the Doc (Peter) walk out of the hydroponics shed (into a blizz) carrying two bundles of fresh produce. Not far from the red shed the Doc lost 2 of his lettuces to the wind – Mawsonites watched the lettuce take off down towards Horseshoe Harbour with the Doc in full pursuit with Andrew offering assistance.
They were only able to find one lettuce and just before he got back to the red shed the nasty wind took hold of it again….it was never to be seen.