Winter hues, golfing trip, tower views and a preview of Midwinter celebrations from Davis this week.

Winter hues

Even with the sun below the horizon, it’s not totally dark in the middle of the day. The light takes on some amazing colours as the following image shows.

Antarctic pro golf tour

Welcome back to the famous Davis Golf Links Pro, where some of the world’s best golfers battle it out at the world’s most exclusive golf course. This year, we were entertained with some dazzling displays of golfing talent, some shots played you may never see on a normal golf course, and nor should you. These folk are not your usual pro golfers: no world ranking could indicate their abilities, and no pro nor school could unravel the secrets in their swings. These golf extraordinaires rose early to catch the magic afternoon light last weekend, confronted with the elements of gusty winds and well below freezing temperatures, no fear was to behold within their sporting eye. Without hesitation the Hägglunds was packed, the clubs polished, and the coloured balls selected, and off we go.

From station, we headed out across the frozen sea, passing through the islands to the well-kept area. No footprints nor have golf buggy tracks tarnished these fairways, freshly manicured with a dusting of snow and the gr… gree… ‘WHITES’ are a nice firm section of ice over a metre thick and nurtured over the last four months to a table-top hardness just like any exclusive course you would find around the world.

With the light just right and the sun just about it’s closest to the horizon yet (still not appearing above it) we exit the Hägglunds for our 2pm tee off. We layer up in the local golfing attire, select our clubs, tee up our balls, calculate the gusty winds, and play our shots. With only a couple of hours until the light will have faded too much to see the ball, the players work the balls around the course with controlled haste. Still they use this time off station to appreciate the local scenery, congratulate each other on the better shots like true sports professionals and pose for the cameras.

The select group for this year’s event: Doc Jan Wallace, Mr Chris Hill, Mr Jose Campos, Mr Timo Viehl, Mr Mark Coade and Mr Joseph Glacken.

The course became a little tricky at times, the unusual bounce and difficult lies were challenging. However, from Mr Mark Coade we heard no complaint. With a bogie on the front par four, he was in impressive form. Mr Glacken was not far behind with a double bogie, and Mr Hill also hitting a double bogie with a very nice approach shot onto the ‘white’. The rest of the team close behind without loss of a single ball. The day was awarded to two players, Mr Coade and Mr Glacken, for the last hole the players hit a glorious par and birdie respectively putting their scores to level. Cheers were heard as the players shook hands and with the light fading, we made our way back to the club house for a soothing ale.

Doc’s Dozen with Joe Glacken

Joe Glacken

Diesel Mechanic / Fire team / SAR team / Postmaster / Band Legend

Joe, is this your first trip to Antarctica, and what brings you here?

Yes, this is my first trip down south. I came for the adventure and I was most interested in the ship ride down through the Southern Ocean. Also, the auroras.

What is it like being a diesel mechanic here?

You know, it is very similar to being a real diesel mechanic.

Best gig as a dieso?

Best gig was when I worked in outback Queensland. I’d drive around to cattle stations, mines and remote townships just working on the machines they had. I’d be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time and got to see so much of that part of the country.

What other places have you lived and worked?

Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Townsville, Mt Isa, London, East Worthing, Gold Coast, and now living in Brisbane.

What is your favourite machine at Davis and why?

I like the powerhouse generator engines. When you’re working on them no one bothers you, and if someone does come in, it’s so noisy you can’t hear them anyway. Bliss!

Your performance in our Davis band ‘Kiss the Fish’ was outstanding, any thoughts of music as a full time career?

Yeah, well, you know it is tough being a rock star sometimes, but I think I’ll continue to be one.

How is your love life going at the moment Joe?

Going, going, going, GONE.

(I don’t believe it! What happened to the famous Davis Post Office romance? Ladies, get in fast. This one is solid gold.)

I know you have a few nicknames, ‘Glackentino’, ‘Primo Joe’ and ‘Retro Joe’, could you explain these and do you have any more I don’t know about (and can put in print)?

I have a few other nice names, but no I can’t explain them.

What has been your best Antarctic experience?

Flying over the Amery Ice Shelf and around the Prince Charles Mountains.

What do you love about Antarctica?

So far I love the dramatic change of the seasons, also the trips anywhere around this part of the world are amazing from flying to other countries’ stations by helicopter, driving a Hägglunds to one of the huts around the Vestfold Hills and the boat trips out amongst the icebergs. It really is an incredible place.

Who inspires you Joe?

Homer Simpson. Just goes to show if you watch lots of TV, fumbling your way through work and life, be rude to your neighbours, act like a big kid, hang out at the pub and drink beer, people will find you funny and love you. But if I could be someone else it would be Banana Man (he’s awesome) or a musical director of a radio station. Someone needs to go in and cull the place of all the bad music, then only play good music, like my music.

Joe, with all your knowledge of machines, what kind of car would you be?

I would be a Datsun Sunny. They’re cool, simple, and hot chicks drive them hard.

(My mind drifts back to my own 1969 Datsun 1600. Now that was a car!)

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

Catch up with friends, spend some time with Mum and Dad and the family, then travel. My plan so far is to spend a few weeks with my good friend in London, maybe a week skiing somewhere in Europe, then head to South America where I can make an arse of myself trying to speak Spanish.

Mr Glackentino, it has been an absolute thrill talking to you today. I look forward to hearing about the adventures that are no doubt in store for you. Good luck with the Spanish.

Midwinter preview

Next week, once the photos are all sorted, we will write about our midwinter goings on.

In the mean time, a view of our table before starting and an inviting view of the Davis sea baths.

Tower views

Before the sun went below the horizon for the winter, the Comms technicians Tom and Greg had to climb some of the masts here at Davis to carry out annual servicing and repairs.

The views from the top were breathtaking and remind us of what Davis is like under the sun.