Preparation for resupply

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This week at Mawson: 8 February 2013

I am writing this segment at 9am Thursday 7 February, Day two of the annual Mawson resupply. The wind is blowing at 40 knots (74kph) and the Aurora Australis is riding out the storm at sea. Horseshoe Harbour is free of ice. The last section of sea ice drifted away at 10pm last night. The 56 people on Station which includes the 2012 and 2013 winter teams, summer team, aircrew, water craft operators, plant operator, beachmaster, project people, communication operator, chefs and slushies are performing their handovers and the major projects to be conducted during this allocated eight day period.

There was a hive of activity on station before the ship arrived on schedule on Tuesday. Some of these jobs included the carpenters making the footings for the ARPANSA steps, the plumbers checking the melt bell (the creator of our water supply) and the mechanics clearing snow in the wharf area and using the excavator to break up the very thick sea ice attached to the land. Chef Ray produced another of his excellent Saturday night dinners.

The fine weather saw many walking out along West Arm taking photographs of the penguins swimming in the crystal clear water, minke whales blowing and orcas checking out the ice floes for sleepy Weddell seals. We witnessed some amazing sunsets and a magnificent solar pillar one evening.

The current storm is predicted to abate on Friday and following this the Aurora Australis will be moored in Horseshoe Harbour on Saturday ready to continue cargo operations and the refuelling of the station. 

Two expeditioners standing beside a cement mixer and wheel barrow
Paul F and Chris G preparing to pour concrete for the ARPANSA…
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
Expeditioner measuring the depth of water in the melt bell cavern
Pete measuring the depth of water in the melt bell cavern
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
Expeditioner in loader moving snow
Geoff in the loader moving snow
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
Expeditioner in D7 dozer pushing snow
Jeremy in D7 dozer pushing snow
(Photo: Vick Heinrich)
Mini Baileys cheesecake with raspberry coulis and cream
Mini Baileys cheesecake with raspberry coulis and cream
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
A photo taken from a helicopter looking down on a crane lifting a Hagglunds all terrain vehicle from a jet barge
Unloading a Hagglunds from a jet barge
(Photo: Chris George)
A jagged rocky island surrounded by sea-ice with ice plateau behind
An island on the way to Colbeck
(Photo: Chris George)
A field hut in ice following a large summer melt
Colbeck hut now sitting in ice following a massive summer melt
(Photo: Chris George)
Looking across the ice floes in West Bay with a mountain range rising out of the Antarctic plateau behind
Looking across West Bay to the David range
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
Adelie penguins swimming on the surface
Adelie penguins swimming on the surface
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
The buildings of Mawson station with the Antarctic plateau rising steeply behind the station
The jewel in the crown
(Photo: Vicki Heinrich)
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This page was last modified on 8 February 2013.