This week at the station

This week at Mawson: 7 June 2013

A walk to Welch Island

View from the top

Welch Island is a very prominent fixture on the Mawson landscape. It’s about 6 km from station about 1.5 km long and 130 meters high. Although it seems a lot higher when you’re climbing up it.

Welch Island was discovered in February 1931 by the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) under Sir Douglas Mawson, who named it for B. F. Welch, Second Engineer on the Discovery.

When we were first allowed on to the ice most of the station took a stroll out to Welch Is. It’s a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday. The view from the top is amazing.

Welch Is viewed from Mawson, with the wind turbine in the foreground
Welch Island in the distance behind the wind turbine
(Photo: Cliff Simpson Davis)
Peter Layt walking on the ice, dragging a small sled
Pete L the intrepid expeditioner
(Photo: Cliff Simpson Davis)
Cliff Simpson out on the ice, dragging a sled
Come on Cliffy step up the pace, you are not at work…
(Photo: Peter Layt)
Ice formation
Some interesting ice formations on the way
(Photo: Cliff Simpson Davis)
View from Welch Is. Expeditioner in the foreground, waving
Peter L, what an awesome view
(Photo: Cliff Simpson Davis)
Cliff Simpson on Welch Is, with Davis in the background
Cliffy, woohoo I made it.
(Photo: Peter Layt)
Icebergs viewed from Welch Island
Some amazing bergs seen from the top too.
(Photo: Cliff Simpson Davis)

A trip to Colbeck

After much preparation 2 Quads, 1 Hagg left Mawson 28/5 for Colbeck hut, Taylor glacier towing temporary accommodation, the RMIT van as prior reports had mentioned the hut was engulfed in ice; spot on as photo shows. After approx 6 hours through spectacular scenery and a kind weather window reached our destination and proceeded to chip away at the ice to gain entry to hut; amazing an ice floor (interior decorators/architects would kill for this); turn on the gas and start the heater, instant rain forest/steam bath (what more could you wish for), Keldyn and Cookie immediately lay claim to their waterlogged bunks, whilst a sumptuous meal was prepared by various chefs shuffling around the ice floor with the assistance of micro spiked boots. Nice meal, good company and an icy sleep (got better as the RMIT warmed up over the next few days and the hut dried out).

Planned work carried out and time to check out Taylor and Cape Bruce, photographers’ paradise along with an obliging low moon and sunsets plus the occasional lost Emperor penguin and very rare Keldyn jade berg.

Trip back equally as good despite kilometres of rafted/broken ice, bonus was very strange shaped Jade berg, to me looked like squid, then a Snapper, Cookie said a Cod! By then was confused so settled for a whale.

What a great few days away from station – thatsss all folks.

Jade Berg
Thar she blows, whale shaped?? jade berg
(Photo: Geoff Brealey)
Jade Berg
more of the jade whale
(Photo: Geoff Brealey)
Caves in ice cliff
blue and white snow caves
(Photo: Geoff Brealey)
Colbeck Hut
Captain i think it is time to abandon SS Colbeck, she's sinking…
(Photo: Geoff Brealey)
Chapmans Ridge
Chapmans Ridge at the back of Colbeck hut
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Expeditioners walking on the frozen lake
Frozen lake near Byrd Head
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Ufs Island
Ufs Island
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Moon setting behind jade berg
Moon setting behind Jade berg
(Photo: Graham Cook)

Staying indoors, more on darts

It’s getting close to the middle of winter and we are tending to do more inside activities – especially now the outside temperature is nudging −30 degrees. One really needs to be well dressed to spend time outside.

Back inside, many of the boys have settled into playing darts over the dark and cooler months. For those that don’t know, there is currently a darts competition going on between all four Australian stations. The finals are coming up this weekend.

As a team it would be fair to say that we were not the best dart players when we first arrived at Mawson, but with lots of practice we did improve, as shown in the accompanying photographs.

Our favourite dart game is Shanghai – where one attempts to score on various number sets, but there is a 100 point bonus if one gets a “shanghai” – and that is when a player hits a single, double and triple of the one number, with three darts. Again the pictures tell the story of those who were able to get a “Shang”, as we call it.

Dart board with darts embedded in the wall around it
Real shots, Dart players in training
(Photo: Chris Stevenson)
Darron pointing at a line of darts in the board
Darron's shang
(Photo: Chris Stevenson)
Keldyn pointing at a line of darts in the board
Keldyn's shang
(Photo: Chris Stevenson)
Expeditioners on quads on the sea ice
Where we rather be, "out on the sea ice exploring"
(Photo: Chris Stevenson)
Mawson and David  Range
more to see outside, Mawson and the David Range
(Photo: Chris Stevenson)
This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.