At Davis this week: Saturday Duty Dart Off, Greg’s Tours, and that Davis favourite Doc’s Dozen, this week featuring the senior Met Observer and DSL Linc.

Saturday duty dart-off

Joe Glacken vs Timo Viehl

Lunchtime Tuesday 14th August 2012

With the Olympic spirit alive and well at Davis this season, no two winterers have been involved in so many battles for Saturday duties as Joe and Timo. Timo has earned a reputation of being a bit of a gambler putting forward many a challenge to his fellow expeditioners not only in the sporting arena but the paging arena too (hi Casey). His challenges sometimes as farfetched as they sound, you can count on the fact that they are meticulously thought out to the smallest detail.

Joe too is a gambler but always seems to be the guy who loses. His win lose record, well, we don’t talk about any more. It’s a little embarrassing. Timo’s favourite bet is a Saturday duty. For the uninitiated, a Sat duty is a communal duty e.g. cleaning a certain part of the living areas or helping in the kitchen etc. Joe has done many a Sat duty already this year.

It’s Australia vs Germany in this dart off. With whispers in the hallways an inter-station dart competition is likely, these two gladiators of the sport decided to have a friendly match, but, just as the first darts are thrown to see who goes first Joe who is coming into this match a little cocky after his losing streak seems to have ended, (I wonder if it’s because his beloved Newcastle Knights are finally winning?) puts forward the bet of a Sat duty. We had to check to see if Timo had any left or if he had given them all away. Yes he has a few up his sleeve. Game on.

Timo to the line. Holy cow! a Shanghai of 20s to start! 160 points straight up. Joe in disbelief, the crowd stunned. The new Christensen dart board named in honor of its first Shangee Adam Christensen is already getting a pounding. Joe taking some time to get his eye in. I should add that at Davis, how we roll is straight in no warm ups. It levels the playing field, casually ticking off some numbers but with no real game plan yet. Timo methodical, sharp, drilled, precise and German. 20s,19s,18s,17s gone. A huge sigh of relief from the Glackenator as he knocks out 16s and takes 16 points. The pants are safe as conditions outside are favouring a blizz run, Timos favourite punishment I might add! He adds to the board again up to 58 now but Timo is unfazed by Glackentino and is playing some “nice darts”.

Joe clearly rattled after the flying start from his LIDAR shooting opponent. The Bolero is playing over the PA, Timo is feeling victorious already as he knocks out all the numbers, only trips, doubs, beds and bulls to go. 232–58. Timo would like to mention that Joe is a true sportsman and gentleman of the game, one who swears like a sailor but a gentleman none the less, as he points out some points Timo forgot to add. The crowd is building. Will we see something great here today? Wow, 332–58 Joe with some work to do. 380–58 Beds are out for Timo. Very solid darts. I haven’t seen his LIDAR light on lately so he has played a lot of darts.

Glacko mounts the comeback with three big points, score check 434–82. Unfortunately for us fans, Timo has taken the foot off the accelerator and much to the disappointment of the crowd he doesn’t want the pressure of getting to 1000 points. Wait a minute! Glacken Shang! with a triple on the 17s as well thats some nice points! 470–267. Comeback looking the goods as Timo finally closes trips. Timo rubbing some salt into a dejected Joe by now only going for Shangs of 20s, but the elusive 3rd dart needed to score one is evading him. No wait a minute, Timo has had enough and takes the win, comfortably in the end 588–325. Joe still in shock from the start from Timo. Its gold for Germany and a photo for second, Australia.

Join us next time when Joe gets another Sat duty no doubt in the near future or tries to gamble off this one he has just earned.

Darryl Seidel

Doc’s Dozen with Lincoln Mainsbridge

Senior Meteorology Observer / Deputy Station Leader / Emergency Response Team / Lay Surgical Assistant

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

This is my fifth winter (Casey 2002 & 2005, Macca 2006, Davis 2010 & 2012) and there are a number of things that keep me coming back:

  • I rarely have to eat my own cooking
  • Free ‘gym membership’ and medical care
  • A year’s salary to blow on holidays and toys
  • The obligation to grow ridiculous facial hair
  • Cheesy TuesdSenior Meteorology Observer / Deputy Station Leader / Emergency Response Team / Lay Surgical Assistant
What is it like being the SENIOR Met Observer here?

It’s great. I have all the power (when Cathie lets me) and it comes with plebs. Somehow the plebs seem to get all the bad weather and ozone flights. The roster is fair, promise! I can take all the credit when the weather is good and blame the forecasters/plebs when the weather is bad.

If not a Met Fairy, what job would you do?

After the production of our midwinter play Cinderella and making the Davis entrant in the 48hr Antarctic Film Festival, it’s obvious I would be a big time movie producer if I was not a Met Fairy.

(Yes, an obvious choice. I have never seen a finer midwinter Cinderella and it was your second time in the role)

Linc, who inspires you?

I find people who are honestly passionate about something inspiring. Whether it’s their unending belief in a truly hopeless sports team, or explaining the virtues of some terrible movie, or even why rocks or noodles are so good, as long as it is passionate, it is inspiring.

What have you learnt about living in small communities?

Small communities run on rumour and perception, but it is the little things that can bring it to its knees.

If you where a car, what would you be Linc?

I have only owned one car, a glorious green Datsun 120Y Coupe and it was so totally awesome that no car can compare to it. I ride motorcycles now, so I would be a black 2011 Harley Davidson FXST with a few customisations to individualise it.

What has been your best experience down south and what do you love about Antarctica?

Too many great experiences to list here, but jollies that for one reason or other don’t quite go as planned, are always memorable. From this year, my trip to Amanda Bay was fantastic. Antarctica is a truly beautiful and wondrous place that I have had the privilege to experience for a whole year. You get the summer with the wildlife and 24hr sunshine and the cold harsh winter darkness with auroras and blizzards, plus you get to meet some exceptional people.

If you could be someone else, who would it be?

This is a tough one as my narcissistic personality finds it unthinkable that anyone could measure up, but I always say that I want to be taller. So, someone exactly like me only taller.

Linc, you are the Deputy Station Leader here at Davis. What changes can we expect when Ali is off station next and leaves you in charge?

I try to introduce fun and different things to spice up station life, things like Jelly for Every Meal Day. But for some crazy reason the station populous never embraces these so I have to make do by signing my own trip forms and putting rocks under Ali’s mattress.

We have noticed that you like to dress up for parties and special occasions. What has been your favourite outfit this season?

The Batwoman costume I wore for New Year’s was memorable and my nurse’s outfit is stunning, but I think I peaked on Mexican Night with Santanico Pandemonium, snake included. Santanico Pandemonium was the character played by Salma Hayek in the movie ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’. I even did the dance for Steph who was celebrating her birthday that day.

(Santanico was inspired but Batwoman was my personal favourite.)

What is in store for you when you return to home Linc?

A shave, a haircut, rides on my bike, maybe a new tattoo and 6 months holidays!

We heard about one of your balloon releases this season from Cathie, can you describe your most memorable/hilarious balloon moment?

When you are as hopeless as I am it is not surprising to have some interesting balloon launches. I’ve managed to get tangled in the sonde string, have the balloon tear during release, have the balloon chase me back into the balloon shed and of course have the sonde wrap itself around the guard rail.

There is never a dull moment for a hard working professional of Met, gigiddy.

Indeed. Linc, I can see that you are flat out, thank you so much for taking the time to share your wealth of experience in the ways of the south. I am personally looking forward to seeing the next colourful Linc ensemble.

Greg’s uninteresting tours

A bright-eyed group of expeditioners (Linc, Jose, Steph and Greg) decided to explore the surroundings of Bandit’s Hut. In a place like Antarctica, tour companies are few and far between. The ONLY company heading out this weekend was Greg’s Uninteresting Tours. Luckily we managed to get the last seats on the bus.

The first stop on Greg’s Uninteresting Tours was Lake Island. The map shows an impressive lake situated on a small island. As we approached the island, the excitement built as we climbed a hill to get a good view of the lake. Where’s the lake? Is that it? It might be over this way? After 15 minutes of searching, we’re not even sure if we found the lake. We came, we saw, we were disappointed.

By now, we were all committed to this tour and thought things can only improve from here. The next section of the tour was a scenic drive through Iceberg Alley. Greg guaranteed us we would see an Iceberg. After hours of driving past thousands of bergs, not one complete or regular Iceberg was to be seen. Instead bergs with holes, caves and even ones that were green. 

After Iceberg Alley came Mikkelsen’s Cairn. Our tour guide (being the expert) answered all our questions. What is a cairn? “A town in North Queensland” Greg replied. Who is Mikkelsen? “Oh Sir Fredrick Mikkelsen, he was a crafty fella, great sense of humour”. Our confidence in Greg faded quickly as we later found out that Mikkelsen’s cairn marks the discovery of the Vestfold Hills and the first known landing by a woman, Carolyn Mikkelsen in 1935. With high expectations, we climbed the hill to find only a wooden pole. Once again Greg’s Uninteresting Tours strikes again.

Yet another cairn on Greg’s list of ‘must sees’ was Wilkin’s cairn. The climb to this cairn was a windy, rocky and steep one to find yet another pole and a box, some old Geographic Australia magazines and the original claims from Sir Hubert Wilkins. The pinnacle of Greg’s Uninteresting Tours was Jose posing for some happy snaps.

Our accommodation for the night was Bandit’s Hut. On arrival we found everything from dishwashing liquid to the toilet paper was frozen soil. Keen to do some stargazing, we were disappointed again as green, red and purple auroras overran the sky and continued all night. We even awoke disappointed to similar colours in the sunrise and a lack of wind. The only thing to save the tour to date was waking up to Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you”.

Last day of the tour saw us heading towards the amphitheatre. We were told that this was quite an impressive wind scoured ice wall, built up over decades. Maybe this time Greg’s Uninteresting Tours might actually be impressive. Hopes were high. On arrival, it was agreed that it was just a part of the plateau missing some snow and it was actually a little too big.

The last stop on the Uninteresting Tour was a place called Deep Lake. This ended up being a lake that doesn’t freeze! What kind of lake doesn’t freeze in winter? The highlight of this stopover was passing some deceased wildlife on our long hike up hill to the tour bus.

From a very hard to please group of expeditioners, we’d like to thank our tour guide Greg for one of the most uninteresting jollies of the season.

Steph Macdonald