This week at Mawson: 12 October 2018

Getting ready for summer

Spring clean

Preparations for the summer season are amping up in order to get Mawson station ready for an influx of summer tradies and project work.

Mal, Brett and Cormac have been busy and the old aeronomy building is almost finished being refurbished into its new incarnation as an office space, while the 'science containers' are well on the way to being a new wet/dry lab.

Mark and Kiwi have been busy making room in the Green Store for new equipment and supplies. Our RTA ('Return to Australia') piles grow ever larger as we ship back redundant and out-of-date equipment, food and station supplies. It seems to be a little too easy for things to come here and never leave...

In preparation for the return of the Adélie penguins to their nesting grounds, Matt, Mark, Pat and Helen went out to the ASPA (Antarctic Specially Protected Area) in the Rookery Islands to check on the observation cameras there and make sure everything was operational before the penguins return.

Kiwi, Brilly and Paul were out at Béchervaise Island to dig the winter snow off the weigh-bridges and complete the clean-up so all is habitable for the summer science team and the penguin residents. Apparently the Adélies are very punctual and we can expect to see them back again on or around 20 October.

Decent weekend weather saw another group head out to Macey and they reported seeing quite a few seals about, (although no pups yet), and the chicks getting ever more independent. There was even debate at lunch the other day about whether a skua and/or snow petrel had actually been spotted flying over East Bay. Summer is coming!

View back to station from Rookery Islands - mountains in the background
View back to station from Rookery Islands - David Range in the…
(Photo: Patrick James)
Two men working on a penguin observation camera
Matt and Mark working on a penguin camera
(Photo: Patrick James)
Adelie nests from last season awaiting new occupants
Adelie nests from last season awaiting new occupants
(Photo: Helen Cooley)
View from Rookery Islands looking west along the coast
View from Rookery Islands looking west along the coast
(Photo: Patrick James)
A Weddell seal comes up for air
A Weddell seal comes up for air
(Photo: Helen Cooley)
Man and penguin at Auster Rookery
Cormac observing an Emperor Penguin at Auster Rookery
(Photo: Nick Cullen)
The colony at Auster Rookery surrounded by icebergs
The colony at Auster Rookery surrounded by icebergs
(Photo: Nick Cullen)