This week at Davis we welcome back the sun, take a personal look at isolation, acknowledge the chef’s contribution, visit Deep Lake in winter mode, and talk with the mover and shifter of snow on station.

Aurora under the full moon

Another fantastic shot from Angry: the aurora in the light of the full moon.

Here comes the sun

Tuesday July 10th marked the day the sun was due to appear again completely above the horizon.

Thirty-nine minutes of celebration were planned up at the heli-hut, but sadly the weather got in the way. Thick layers of cloud over the horizon meant all we saw was a faint glow.

You know what they say: Never let facts get in the way of a good time (or is that ‘story'?). The four of us that did turn up enjoyed ourselves, dancing and carrying on (mainly to keep warm as it was still a chilly minus 27°C).

As the images show, Brigid provided the only ‘suns’ we saw that day, in edible form. YUM!

Isolation of the south

Antarctica: it’s hard to put into words what makes this place.

The scenery, the weather, people’s attitudes, personalities, feelings and habits all contribute to this place.

A friend of mine passed away a couple of weeks ago and you realize how far away from home you are.

This is the one thing we all share when we are down in this cold place, whether it is Mawson and his expeditioners or the twenty one of us here at Davis: the isolation of being away from home, family and loved ones.

At home I would tell my children if people didn’t commit to leaving home to work and discover, life’s progress would stop. We wouldn’t know the world was round and that there were other countries, people, culture and animals. People have had to sacrifice home life in order that the world continues to learn.

So congratulations to all my fellow expeditioners around the Antarctic and all the expeditioners before us.

We have all experienced the loneliness and isolation together, a bond that will never be felt anywhere like this again.

To Robert, my friend, may you rest in peace.

Doc’s Dozen with Scott Beardsley

Scott Beardsley — Plumber / Fire team / SAR team

Scott, how many trips have you done to Antarctica, and what keeps you coming back?

This is my second trip after I summered at Casey last year. People might think that I came back for the free beer and bacon but it was really to drive the big machines and spend the winter pushing snow around. (…hang on Scotty, aren’t you supposed to be a plumber?)

What is it like actually doing plumbing work here at Davis?

It’s good being part of a close knit team. We have a lot of fun.

If not a plumber, what job would you do Scott?

I would like to be a roadie again. In 2009/10 I worked as a roadie for a lot of touring international artists and that was a lot of fun.

Best gig as a plumber?

Being Mr Plow. (I don’t hear about a lot of actual plumbing work being done Scotty)

What has been your best Antarctic experience?

Riding quads around icebergs, at regulation distance of course.

What do you love about Antarctica?

The remoteness, no mobile phones. Also the challenges of the job, if something breaks or you need something that we don’t have, you just can’t go down the street to the local plumbing supplier and buy one.

Who inspires you?

My father. If I could be half the tradesman he is I would be very happy.

If you were granted one wish, what would it be?

To work down here with my wife.

Scott, what have you learned living in our little Davis community?

Tolerance. If you have an issue, tell someone.

How are you going in the footy tipping and who is your main competitor?

Steph is my closest rival, we are doing really well for the wooden spoon.

How do you work out which plumber has the job of collecting the monthly poo sample that I analyse?

I just send Ferret.

What is your vote for the best batch that our Brew Master has produced this year?

I like them all. (Wise words!)

What kind of car are you Scotty?

I’d rather be a motorcycle, a BMW S1000RR and then I would lose my license in first gear. (What is it with boys and the need for speed?)

What is in store for you when you return home Scott?

Lots of hugs, kisses and puzzles with my girls Dana, George and Alex.

Thank you Mr Plow. Now if you could just fix that blizz tail between the surgery and the Green store that would be great!

Winter trip to Deep Lake

With the arrival of another month, Joe made the mandatory trip to Deep Lake to take measurements. He was accompanied on this trip by Linc, Angry and Tom.

They parked the Hägglunds on the snow after leaving the sea ice near Brooke Hut and made their way on foot to the lake, which looked both stark and stunning surrounded by hills mantled in snow.

What’s for dinner?

This is a phrase I’m sure the chef hears every day. I know I’ve heard it when being on ‘slushy’ (kitchen hand) for the day. The chefs that venture south are a very hard working group of people. Day in, day out, they are there to provide food and eatable morale to us all. They seem to never complain and go about their work with genuine contribution to the community. Brigid is the chef at Davis this year and I had a talk to her to see how she felt about working down south.

BRIGID: “It’s totally different working in a small community. I didn’t realize the station here would be so industrial, but the view out the window as I work is truly amazing. The hours are long and besides the cooking there is the managing of the food, so we don’t run out of things. Sometimes we do run short and have to use other ingredients to make things work. Other food is of A-grade quality and is a pleasure to cook.

I didn’t realize I would miss home, family and friends so much, but I know I will be home soon.

On the whole the experience down here has been very rewarding so far.”

“Thanks Brigid and keep up the good work.” - The hungry people of Davis.

P.S. More bacon!

Mark Coade