This week at the station

This week at Mawson: 2 August 2013

What is in the big "Red Shed"

The Mawson Red Shed as it is affectionately called because of its bright red colour, is more formally known as the SMQ/LQ. The initials refer to the more boring title of Sleeping Medical Quarters and Living Quarters. So for most of us at Mawson it is the home that we head for after work. The chef and the doctor work within the building, so they work from home, I guess. In one end of the building there is the medical facility that has featured in recent stories a laundry, plant rooms, bathroom, and our bedrooms. This is usually the quieter end where we can retreat to our own rooms, surf the web, read, sleep etc. All rooms have a phone and computer access. At this end, the southern end of the building there are two levels. The northern end of the building has three levels. There is a basement level where ghosts and goblins lurk in dark corners. No not true, this is where a lot of the plumbing that carries waste out of the building and water into the building can be found. There is also a small brewery where we make home brew and a underfloor space that is used to store a pile of props and clothes for themed parties or special occasions along with some general storage space.

On the second level you will find the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is well equipped to cater for our small group of 15 and can also cope well with the larger teams in the summer. You will also find storage space for dry foods, refrigerators and freezers in this area. Restaurants around the world would love to have the view that we have from the dining area. The view to the north looks out at islands and icebergs and to the east we can see more islands scattered across the scene and a few kilometres of incredibly blue ice cliffs where the Antarctic plateau comes to an abrupt end as it meets the ocean. There is also a small cardio workout room on this level with a cross trainer, bike, running and rowing machines and a few other bits and pieces to keep us agile.

The upper level is the recreation area and again the views along the coast are sensational. At this time of the year the ocean is frozen so there is no open water, the scene is of islands, frozen ocean, bergs and ice cliffs. Later in the year the ice will break out and the view changes with open water and waves lapping up to the ice cliffs. There are binoculars and a telescope permanently set up to catch wildlife such as petrels, seals and orcas in the bay if we are lucky enough to see it. On this level you will find a small cinema, a well stocked library, a darts area, pool table, a small bar and some very comfortable lounge chairs. There is a quiet room off the main lounge that houses a display of heritage items and this is used as a quiet reading area or a place to practice music. There is an assortment of guitars, a keyboard, drums, and other instruments made available to us if we are so inclined.

Room with a bain marie and long table for eating at.
The Mawson mess
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson kitchen with long steel benches and cooking tools.
The kitchen
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson darts and bar area with notice boards and chairs.
The darts area and bar
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson lounge with pool table and lounge space
The pool table and lounge space
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson theatre with comfortable chairs and book shelves lining the walls.
Mawson theatre
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson Dog Room has display cases and a sofa at the end with guitars propped there.
Mawson Dog Room
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson Library packed with shelves laden with books.
Mawson Library
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson year photos displayed on a notice board
Past veterans line the wall
(Photo: Graham Cook)
Mawson Red Shed from the outside.
The Big Red Shed
(Photo: Graham Cook)

Look to the skies and a game of indoor bowls.

Aurora, funky clouds and lawn bowls – a typical July at Mawson

Aurora continue to be the flavour of the month, as we strive to make the most of the dark conditions to enjoy the celestial polar displays. While at Colbeck a few weeks back, some of us took time out to set up tripods and frosty weather to capture some mesmerising displays.

On the 7th of July, we were treated to some high cloud formations on station with mother-of-pearl colourisation – yet another of the many ephemeral and unique sights that turn up unexpectedly.

On Saturday night, we had the inaugural Mawson 2013 lawn bowl competition. First off the rank was Trent vs Keldyn, followed by Pete C vs Pete L.Craig defeated Darron in the third round. The three winners from the round robin event fought it out to decide the winner. It doesn't matter who the winner actually was, we had a good time in the process. So ends another month at Mawson.

Aurora at Colbeck
Aurora at Colbeck
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Aurora at Colbeck
Aurora at Colbeck
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Mother of pearl clouds
Mother of pearl clouds.
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Mother of pearl clouds
Mother of pearl clouds
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
The umpires make their presence felt
The umpires make their presence felt
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Indoor bowling pitch rolled out with expeditioner rolling the bowl.
Trent lets one rip ,as Keldyn watches on
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Measuring the distance between bowls using a blue thong.
Calibrated thong is used for measuring closest bowl to the jack
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Expeditioner cradles the bowl ready to roll it along the pitch.
Pete L lines up a winning throw
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Three expeditioners watching the the plaement of the bowls which are closest to the camera.
Reservoir dogs
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Expeditioner bowls
Darron lines up a losing throw
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Expeditioner rolls the ball.
Craig assumes the position
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Man rolls himslef up in the material that is the pitch
Keldyn struggles with the concept of lawn bowls
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)
Two men wrestling.
Team bonding - Hugs all round
(Photo: Darron Lehmann)

A passion for photography

One of my new found loves this year living in Antarctica is “Photography”. In less then 6 months I have taken over 10000 photos of the wildlife, the surrounding landscapes and the beauty found in nature. I believe a photo captures the imagination and the feeling of the photographer at that time. It allows us to share a small piece of that experience, that surrounding and that moment.

In the past few years, thanks to social media and applications, the popularity of “Photography” has soared. I personally believe what has also contributed to the cause are more devices with cameras, the price of technology, the ease of sharing online and via networks. A photo can bring people together, it can show pain, or happiness, it can bring humour or show the effect of time.

I have found it true living here in such a unique place that one photo is certainly worth 1000 words. Without a camera I feel so much would be lost of what could have been shared. I just hope the pictures can explain what I cannot say; a weekend at Rumdoodle Hut and surrounding areas.

View from South Doodle peak to the ice below.
What a view (from South Doodle peak)
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Graham Cook roped on and climbing on South Doodle
Cookie nears the summit
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Huge boulder frozen into a precarious balancing positiion by ice.
Amazing erratic boulders
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Aurora near Rumdoodle with green lights behind a dark hill.
Incredible lightshow
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Green streaks of light behind boulders
More auroral activity
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Rumdoodle Hut with aurora overhead
Rumdoodle Hut
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Green streaks of the aurora at Rumdoodle in the dark.
So much green
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Rumdoodle peak is the rocky ridge of the mountain amidst the ice.
The ridge line from South Doodle to Rumdoodle peak
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Pink lights of dawn over the mountains of the Nth Masson Range
A new day dawns
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
Aurora at Rumdoodle - greens streaks against a purple night sky.
Where do I look
(Photo: Keldyn Francis)
This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.