This week at Mawson: 8 June 2018

Our sea ice is now thick enough that we're setting our sights on Macey Hut and the emperor penguin rookery.

Weekly roundup

It was a busy week here as May turned into June and winter officially began. We are down to less than two hours a day of seeing the sun peep over the horizon and this is making for some great light shows and coloured skies. The weather for May was a little bit warmer, windier and sunnier than average but nothing record-breaking.

On Friday night, Quizmaster Linc tested us all with a ‘Letters and Numbers’ quiz night and it would seem we all need to work on our 75 times tables, but really, aside from TV Mathematician Lily, who doesn’t?

One of the extraordinary privileges of spending winter here at Mawson is that we have a neighbouring emperor penguin colony (approximately 30 km away) that we are permitted to visit as long as we comply with an understandably long set of guidelines. Now that the sea ice is thick enough for travel and we’re all trained, we have our first team heading out at the end of this week to ‘prove’ (that is, drill the sea ice and confirm thicknesses are appropriate for travel; we need 20 cm for a person, 40 cm for a quad and 60 cm for a Hägg) the route to Macey Hut and see if they can find the Auster Rookery. As the penguins are on sea ice, the colony moves every year and needs to be tracked again.

In preparation for that trip, we were out this morning proving the sea ice within the station operating area and found our route blocked by some great snow and ice formations that nature has been busy making while we weren’t looking. Hopefully they’ll make it all the way through to Auster and we’ll have penguin tales and pics for you next week…

A man in fancy dress holds up a quiz book
This week's quiz was 'Letters and Numbers' with Linc again in charge.
(Photo: E.Rodewald)
A sunset sky over West Bay and Casey Range
A sunset sky over West Bay and Casey Range
(Photo: Cormac Cullen)
Afternoon sky over iceberg alley
Afternoon sky over iceberg alley
(Photo: Cormac Cullen)
Blue hagg heads out on to the sea ice to prove the Macey route within the Station Operating Area
Blue Hägg heads out on to the sea ice to prove the…
(Photo: Michael Brill)
A man drills the sea ice to check its thickness
Pat drills the sea ice while Mark stands by ready to measure
(Photo: E.Rodewald)
Snow and icebergs block the route toward Macey
Snow and icebergs block the route on our way toward Macey
(Photo: E.Rodewald)