Santa’s sleigh dashes to the South Pole
A truly white Christmas is being enjoyed by some lucky Australians who are celebrating the festive season on the icy continent of Antarctica.
Santa has paid a flying visit to Australia’s four research stations, delivering gifts and season’s greetings to 235 expeditioners in Antarctica and on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.
At Australia’s remotest research station, Mawson expeditioners have been looking forward to celebrating the day on the ice and sharing their own traditions with their new Antarctic family.
Mawson station leader Esther Rodewald said the lead up to Christmas has been busy.
“People have been baking traditional gingerbread houses, sharing their family recipes for our Christmas lunch and we’ve all made a bon-bons to crack open at the table.”
The team at Davis research station are spending the day celebrating, having enjoyed a Christmas brunch with a sit down dinner to come, and expeditioners hoping Santa will arrive with some gifts this afternoon.
Station leader Robb Clifton said he has passed on season’s greetings via satellite phone to six expeditioners celebrating Christmas in a field camp 330 kilometres inland of Davis station.
“The team at Mt Brown are busy drilling an ice core, but they promise they’ll enjoy a Christmas toast later in the day,” Mr Clifton said.
Last night at Macquarie Island, the elephant seals and penguins enjoyed an evening of Christmas carols hosted by the expeditioners.
Station leader Kyle Williams said the team were excited that the man in the red suit made it across the Southern Ocean to visit the expeditioners.
“Everyone is thrilled to be spending such a special time in such an amazing place. Our chef has been busy planning our Christmas feast, so we’ll be celebrating in style,” Mr Williams said.
At Casey research station the arrival of Australia’s icebreaker Aurora Australis has delayed Christmas celebrations by a few days while the annual resupply is undertaken.
Rebecca Jeffcoat, Casey station leader, said the arrival of the ship was like Christmas in itself.
“The Aurora is packed to the brim with all the supplies we will need for the next 12 months and I’m sure we will also find some treats for our Christmas meal or maybe some presents to put under the tree,” Ms Jeffcoat said.
“Once we farewell the big red ship we’ll be celebrating a successful resupply as well as a slightly late but very special Antarctic Christmas,” she said.