Carpenter/Fire team/Search and Rescue team/Lay Surgical Assistant/Brew-Master/Band member/Logistics Officer
Chris, is this your first trip to Antarctica?
Well, no. I wintered at Macquarie Island in 2010 but our voyage went via Davis and I managed to get a night’s stay here at Davis during the stopover.
What is it like being the carpenter here?
It’s great. You get to work all over the station and you’re not always doing the same task. One day you might be working outside on a roof when it’s minus 20 degrees and the next day you could be painting the interior of the meteorology office and raiding the Tim Tams from their fridge. You never know what challenge might be waiting around the corner. (Yes, I have noticed you being a regular after dinner Tim Tam or Mint Slice aficionado!)
If not a carpenter what job would you do? (Mind you, from the list at the top you already have quite a few other things keeping you busy)
Test driver for Ferrari!
Best gig as a carpenter?
Being flown to work in a helicopter!
Best experience in (Sub)Antarctica?
There are many! Where do I start? Seeing the sky ablaze with an aurora for the first time, cruising amongst the icebergs in the IRBs plus visiting the massive penguin rookeries at Lusitania Bay and Hurd Point, Macquarie Island.
What do you love about Antarctica?
The ever changing weather and daylight/night hours, sunrises and sunsets, icebergs, plus working in a remote area so very few people have experienced. Well, pretty much everything. (Not much daylight after tomorrow Chris, we’re in the dark for the next 6 weeks.)
Who inspires you?
All my friends who have worked with or alongside of me during my time here and at Macca.
What have you learned living in our little Davis community, Chris?
I have learned to cut down on Tabasco sauce because there are only 12 bottles left on station for the rest of the season! (Hmmm, I notice that you can get personalised gallon jugs of Tabasco sauce for only $44.95. Maybe we should order one for Chris to come down on V2 at the end of winter?)
Chris, what is your favourite wood, and why?
Well, there is certainly a nice variety of woods out there, hard to choose, but my favourite would have to be a Callaway. I’ve driven a ball over 300 metres down a fairway with one of those. (No no no. Not that sort of wood!) Ahhh…we actually call that timber in the trade. (OK, please excuse me. What is your favourite timber Chris?) I do like the black heart sassafras that we have here at Davis and I also like Huon pine, both very nice Tasmanian timbers.
You are the Brew-master this year at Davis. What has been your favourite batch so far, is brewing something you have done previously and what gourmet brews can we look forward to later in the year?
My first efforts were as Brew-master during my winter at Macca. It is hard to pick my favourite batch. They are all pretty good but I am looking forward to the boutique brews we ordered down on V5. There are a dozen different types ranging from Stouts, Bitters, Draughts, Lagers, Blondes and Ales, so a bit of everything and like all homebrews, we only bring them out on special occasions such as Midwinter.
If you were a car, what would you be Chris?
A Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. One of the fastest road legal cars on earth. Top speed of 431km/hr!
(Ha! So much for wanting to be driver for Ferrari!)
What is in store for you when you return home Chris?
Go to a warmer climate and thaw out for starters. I haven’t seen ambient temperatures over 20 degrees since 2009! Plus, I will do the usual catch up with family and friends and maybe catch up with some expeditioners from my time at Macca, and sitting on the back veranda with a cold drink in hand watching the thunderstorms roll in over the Blue Mountains.
Fantastic Chris. Now if you could just step over here for your photo, a nice smile for all the ladies out there!