Blog 27 November - The AGAP N team at Davis grows

The CASA and Basler aircraft at Plough Island skiway
The CASA and Basler aircraft at Plough Island skiway
Photo: Eric Philips

Canadian pilots Brad and Chris and engineer Martin arrived in the Alfred Wegener Institute Basler, Polar 5, on Saturday afternoon, arriving just as the wind started to pick up again. The met folks here at Davis have been spot on with their weather forecasting and Polar 5 touched down on the sea ice near Plough Island in time to hunker down before the next blow.

The British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter crew, pilot Alan and engineer Jamie, departed Rothera a few days ago, ovenighted last night at Mawson station and arrived at Plough Island this afternoon. The Otter is now parked next to the Basler and Alan and Jamie are currently being ferried across the six kilometres of sea ice to Davis. They will no doubt be looking forward to a short rest before heading to the Grove Mountains and beyond.

Making use of the perfect coastal conditions and with high cloud over the Groves, Polar 5 made an attempt to depart for a fuel run to the Grove Mountains early this afternoon. Unfortunately fast-onset snow showers and low visibility forestalled that plan; tomorrow we try again if conditions allow. But we are brimming with excitement; our fleet has arrived and we can begin to head southward and upward into the great white.

Mawson plumber Doug B road tests the AGAP N dunny outside the Living Quarters. This modern masterpiece is compliments of the Davis chippies, in particular Chris H.
Mawson plumber Doug B road tests the AGAP N dunny outside the Living Quarters. This modern masterpiece is compliments of the Davis chippies, in particular Chris H.
Photo: Eric Philips
News just at hand - the first airdrop of fuel drums at AGAP N was completed today with a C-17 Globemaster flying from Christchurch to AGAP N, parachuting 112 drums onto the snow. The fuel will be used to refuel the survey Otter that will be based at AGAP N. The AGAP N location is now 'written in ice' so to speak, and it's here that we build a skiway and set up camp.

On more local matters, the Davis chippies finished the AGAP N toilet, a modern masterpiece, and our prioritised loads are spread from one end of the station to the other, wherever we could find space among the station hustle and bustle. Ray will take charge of these loads, ensuring our steady supply of food and equipment to AGAP N. Yesterday we completed our final clothing check, modifying items to suit the extremes of the high Antarctic plateau. We are ready to move into the freezer.

Eric Philips - AGAP North Field Leader

This page was last modified on 27 November 2008.