After many days of packing our cargo has finally been consolidated into a shipping container and loaded on to the Aurora Australis for our voyage to Davis station, Antarctica. The “box” houses our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) as well as more than 100 other items that we will use on the ice. This includes ice corers, shovels, sleds, generators, winches, ropes and lots of specialised science gear.

We have a second container with us as well — the ‘reefer’ (our refrigerated laboratory container) kept at −20°C. This will be used for cutting ice cores and conducting physical analyses of ice at stable and low temperatures.

Our international team of sea ice scientists gathered in Hobart last week and spent many days in briefings and getting kitted with our Antarctic gear. We’ve also been trained in the safe use of station laboratories and the operation of quad bikes, among other things.

There are some old friends and colleagues but also many new faces. I am looking forward to learning more about them and their icy science on our way south.

Klaus, Chief Investigator