At Davis this week, Nick hands in his thesis, Ferret answers the Doc’s Dozen, Angry captures more aurora, there’s a working holiday to Woop Woop, and an Octopus’s Garden.

Nic’s nemesis no more

This week we are pleased to report that Nick has finally done it! He has cut the cord and submitted his thesis. He’s written the last word in the conclusion, done the 1000th spell check, corrected his grammar, acknowledged everyone he knows, and sent it to Fluffy.

Now what, you might say?

Well, cake. That’s what.


Doc’s Dozen with Darryl Seidel

Plumber/Emergency Response Team/Hydroponics Manager/Station Photographer/Deputy Environmental Officer/Davis Bands/aka Ferret

Daz, is this your first trip to Antarctica and what attracted you to venture south?
This is my first time down. I wanted to experience an Antarctic winter, plus it’s something a bit different that not many people get to do.
What is it like being a plumber here at Davis (by the way, are you B1 or B2 in Team Plumbing) and if not a plumber what would you do?
It is the same but different. There are still taps and toilets to fix, but also the reverse osmosis plant to run in summer and other various Antarctic specific jobs. Most days you get an awesome view walking to work as well and I say any day without a blocked drain is a good day.

In Team Plumbing I am B2. Age pulls rank…technically I’m B2.0, the newer updated model.

(..and again, special thanks for getting my monthly poo sample to analyse)
If I wasn’t a plumber, after seeing my performance in Davis — Safe As, maybe an action movie actor. Pro cyclist or musician would be good too, or something that brings in a ton of money with little output.
What has been your best experience in Antarctica so far Ferret?
All of it. The wind, cold, ice, wildlife, scenery. Getting a moment’s notice before flying around the Vestfold Hills and over the Sørsdal Glacier or quad biking down iceberg alley. Meeting great people.
Who inspires you?
My brother Craig, he passed away from Muscular Dystrophy when he was 17. He never gave up and he never complained.
What have you learnt about living in small communities?
Put a packet of Tim Tams back in the fridge (I understand now Crazy!), but if there is one left, eat it! It was obviously left there for you. There is always room for one more cup in the dish rack somewhere, and, all the usual tolerance stuff.
If you were a car, what would you be Darryl?
Mini Cooper S, Candy Apple Red with white racing stripes, fast and fun.
(…hang on. Wasn’t that what I thought Ali should be?)
If you were granted one wish what would that be?
To get my wife Jo and my family down here to see what I’ve seen, so when I explain “I can’t explain”, they know what I mean.
Did you get your nickname Ferret because you are always crawling into small spaces and holes or did that pre-date your plumbing days?
Well, it was before plumbing. Year 3 football, AFL not NRL, my coach reckoned I could get in, get the ball and get out without too much trouble like a little ferret. I think some of my friends have forgotten my real name ‘cause I’ve been known as Ferret for so long. My parents were referred to at the footy club as Mr and Mrs Ferret, I found that pretty funny too.
Ferret, you are our hydroponics king this year, where do you get your green thumb or is it just more fun with plumbing?
I thought I’d like to give it a go as it’s something unique down here. Sure there is plumbing involved, but harvesting the produce is pretty rewarding.
(Indeed. We are all enjoying eating our greens at the moment.)

As the driving force behind the many reincarnations of the Davis band this year, do you have secret ambitions to continue your Antarctic rock star career?
The bands have been so much fun to be in this year. At one point we had 13 people in ‘Big Orange Taxi’. Getting people involved and taking them out of their comfort zone and seeing them learn new skills is always challenging and rewarding. I’ve been playing the tennis racquet guitar for as long as I can remember. It has certainly inspired me to continue music when I get back home.
What is in store when you return home Ferret?
A nice hot Adelaide summer, so the beach, sunburn, a lot of quality time with my Jo and my family. A fair bit of cycling up and down the metropolitan coast line too.
Daz, as always, it has been a hoot getting your Ferret’s-eye-view of the world of Davis. I am sure I speak for many when I say that I can only hold my breath in anticipation until the next reincarnation of the Davis 2012 band.

Aurora above

While we have had plenty of cloudy days lately there is the occasional night that makes going outside in the cold and dark worthwhile. Below are some more aurora shots from Angry.

Woop Woop working

For most of the winter, the AWS at Woop Woop has been silent. Cathie, Tom, Mark and Angry spent several days in the comfortable but cramped Sprunky van to rectify this and other problems that needed sorting before the summer flying season begins.

After first digging out the van and righting their accommodation, Cathie worked on the automatic weather station, Tom checked the radio communications and made changes to the Comms installation, Mark checked the electrical equipment, and Angry recovered the yellow Hagg from beneath the snow and assessed the other vehicles for recovery next trip.

Octopus’s garden

Last Saturday we had seven off-station which made the setting for dinner noticeably more intimate.

With the food being predominately seafood (yum) we set the table accordingly and proceeded to enjoy the sumptuous feast courtesy of Brigid.