This week at Davis: 27 April 2012

Davis commemorate Anzac Day, casts on, looks to the heavens, cuts some pipes, and drills the sea-ice.

Davis remembers…

Anzac Day

Order of service

  • 9:40 — Congregate at the flagpoles for the dawn service. Sunrise will be at 09:59.
  • Flags — Raising of the Australian and NZ flags, then lowering to half mast.
  • Address
  • The Ode by L Binyon
  • Last post
  • Two minutes silence
  • Reveille — Flags are once again raised to the top of the mast.
  • In Flanders Fields by JM McCrae
  • National anthems
  • 10:30 — Rum and coffee/tea and Anzac biscuits
  • 11:00 — Brunch
  • 12:00 — Two-up in the bar
  • 14:00 — Anzac movie marathon: Breaker Morant, Gallipoli, Kokoda, The Odd Angry Shot
  • 18:00 — Dinner — all help

Davis commemorated the sacrifice made by the ANZACs, on the morning of the 25th of April 1915, and all those who have died or suffered as a result of war.

We congregated at the flagpoles — including Steve in a Polaris — wrapped up against the cold (it was a chilly −20°C). As the day dawned clear and golden we raised the flags and thought of the sacrifice these ordinary early Australians made in order that we can have the way of life we have now.

Following our commemorative ceremony we adjourned to the warm of the LQ for the rest of the mornings activities.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

Sunrise at Davis Anzac Day 2012 — sunrise behind army hat
In the morning we will remember them…
(Photo: Jan Wallace)
Dawn at Davis Anzac Day 2012
Dawn at Davis, Anzac Day 2012. Lest we forget
(Photo: Jan Wallace)
Flagpoles readied for Anzac Day commeoration
Flagpoles readied for Anzac Day commemoration
(Photo: Jan Wallace)
Raising flags at Davis 2012
Darryl, flag raiser, and Ali preparing to start ceremony
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Raising flags at Davis 2012
Three flags ready
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Steve Edwards at Davis 2012
VIP Steve arrives in a Polaris
(Photo: Jan Wallace)
Ali Dean at Davis 2012
The rest of the team congregates
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Linc Mainsbridge at Davis 2012
Flag officer Linc
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Joe Glacken at Davis 2012
Flag Officer Joe lowering the flag to half mast
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Ali Dean at Davis 2012
Anzac biscuits to go with the rum and coffee at smoko
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Jan Wallace and Brigid Dwyer at Davis 2012
Jan and Brigid at the ‘Gunfire Breakfast'
(Photo: Jan Wallace)
Davis Sunset Anzac Day 2012
At the going down of the sun. Davis sunset, Anzac Day 2012
(Photo: Jan Wallace)

Cast on

One might comment that this winter there are an unusually large number of knitters on station and a wide variety of items being produced as a result (from car covers to socks). However there is one person who has ‘cast-on’ in quite a different fashion.

Our BSS Steve took a tumble and in the process broke two bones in his ankle and is now lording it up at his day time residence in the new LQ.

We all had designs on watching as the sun slowly went down but surely spent less and less time above the horizon in front of the station — now Steve has the best vantage point to watch this happen! 

Steve Edwards at Davis 2012 with cast propped up
Steve’s new office
(Photo: Steph MacDonald)
Steve Edwards at Davis 2012
Can’t keep a good man down — or off the computer
(Photo: Steph MacDonald)
Steve Edwards broken ankle at Davis 2012
Plaster — just a blank canvas asking for it really!
(Photo: Steph MacDonald)
Knitting at Davis 2012
Davis knitting circle with honorary member
(Photo: Steph MacDonald)

Magnificent Milky Way

Even on the nights when the aurora is faint, if it is clear the Milky Way is there, spread out before you, filled with millions of stars — all shapes and sizes. 

Amazing to think we are seeing the light of stars emitted eons ago in some instances. Nowhere in the world is the sky so large, the heavens so overwhelming, as here. It never fails to humble.

Magnificent Milky Way 360 degree photo of sky
Magnificent Milky Way
(Photo: Tom Luttrell)
Stars at Davis — 360° view of the Milky Way
360° view of the Milky Way
(Photo: Chris Hill)
Time Lapse view of the Earth turning
Star swirl as the Earth turns
(Photo: Chris Hill)


Darryl and Chris donned the breathing apparatus gear this week to cut off some old galvanised pipe-work that used to guide people down to the old donga line along a wooden walk way. The fumes given off by the pipes on cutting were none too pleasant.

The walk up the rocks is now slightly more challenging, but as one who loves rocks, from my point of view much more appealing.

Darryl Seidel at Davis 2012
Ferret using oxy-acetylene to cut a pipe
(Photo: Chris Hill)
Darryl Seidel cutting pipe — Davis 2012
And another bites the dust
(Photo: Chris Hill)

Sea-ice drilling

With the sea ice in front of the station getting thicker by the day, now is the time we test by drilling to see if it is thick enough, first to walk on and then as it gets thicker to use vehicles on.

Chris, Steph and Darryl spent a Sunday testing the route out to Gardner Island, drilling every few hundred metres. The good news was that the ice is all over 400mm and in excellent condition. 

On the ice drilling at Davis
Darryl and Chris heading for Gardner Is.
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Gardner sea-ice drilling team
Gardner sea-ice drilling team
(Photo: Stephanie MacDonald)
Steph drilling
Steph drilling
(Photo: Chris Hill)

Doc’s Dozen — Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Engineering Services Supervisor/Reverse Osmosis guru/Napoleonic reincarnation

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

No, this is definitely not my first trip to Antarctica, I have spent most of my adult life here. I have only ever come here by ship.

What is it like being the Engineering Services Supervisor here at Davis?

It’s like the monkey syndrome. I look down and see smiling faces. They look up and see…me. (Not quite sure what you mean there Joe…but anyhoo, let’s move on.)

What has been the best part of your job over the many years you have spent here Joe?

Anything to do with bacon. Life is always better with bacon.

What do you love most about Antarctica?

Bacon. (So glad he isn’t here for winter. I am already doing badly in the Doctor VS Chef competition)

If you were a car, what car would you be Joe?

One full of crash test dummies, I can relate to them.

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

I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. (I can think of one person you might have been in a previous life!)

Some people have implied that you may have a Napoleonic Complex. What is your reply to that?

“Courage is like love, it must have hope for nourishment.”

I have heard you referred to as the ‘Reverse Osmosis Guru’. Is the RO unit your baby, and how do you feel about leaving it here with us for the winter?

I don’t trust you people but I can’t take it with me. (Trusting soul isn’t he?)

Why do you think our resident artist has featured you so prominently in the public art this year?

‘Ability is nothing without opportunity”.

Where do you get all your good quotes from?


We all get ‘lotsluv’ from you in your ‘All Davis’ emails, but who do you love the most?

You weren’t concentrating when I told you the bacon thing. (I’m not sure if there is a medical word for bacon obsession)

What are you looking forward to the most when you get home Joe?

Oh… I expect the same ol, same ol, you know, football, golf, motorbikes, restaurants, pubs with bar maids…(Yes Joe, I think we get the picture!)

Well, thank you Joe for a most enlightening and interesting glimpse into the world of an ESS. I don’t want to keep you too long because I know it is just about time for ‘Hot Smoko Wednesday’ and I do believe there is bacon on the menu.

Joe Brennan at Davis
Joe off to do ESS business
(Photo: Jan Wallace)
Cartoon of Joe Brennan
Le Petit Emperor
(Photo: Nick Cartwright)
Joe Brennan and Jan Wallace at Davis
'Lotsaluv’ for the Doc
(Photo: Jan Wallace)