A sad day for Antarctic Meteorology, cleaning up the back yard, and our summer farewells.

Vale Dr Neil Adams

The Bureau and the Antarctic community have lost one of its shining lights. Neil Adams was greatly admired and held in high esteem and he will be deeply missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. Neil will be forever remembered for his tireless work, dedication and love of Antarctica. Neil was one of the good guys and an inspiration to all.

Remediation of past experimental infrastructure

As new science projects evolve with the new science strategy it is important to remediate past experimental sites at our stations. For example, at Davis a ground plane and support infrastructure was needed in the early-1980s to mid-1990s to acquire data on the global electric field circuit which results from global lightning discharge processes. This experiment yielded a PhD for Dr Stan Malachowski (AAD Davis Physicist 1983) and numerous international peer reviewed science papers on the topic of the Sun’s impact on global lightning discharge and thus rainfall and the weather and climate system. The research at Davis also concluded that coastal effects diminish the optimal measurement of the electric field and moreover a preliminary experiment conducted at Law Dome showed the importance of inland sites for this research. Dr Gary Burns, the Project Chief Investigator (now retired from AAD), relocated the Electric Field Mill to Vostok station and positioned a second system at the French-Italian station Concordia. The Russian Antarctic Program will now provide ongoing support to this experiment and science conducted at Vostok. The ground plane was retained at Davis just in case coastal measurements were needed again or the platform could be used for other experiments.

An Environmental Preliminary Assessment for remediation of the ground plane and associated infrastructure was submitted to the AAD Policy section. Rebecca Malcolm, the AAD Environmental Officer, informed us that a permit compliant with the Madrid Protocol environmental annex was granted for removal of the redundant infrastructure. Thanks to the Davis ESS’s Joe Brennan and Kenny Smith for provision of enthusiastic trade expeditioners who diligently and carefully removed the steel and concrete infrastructure. John Harris, Brent Dennett, Ilias Zotos, Ben Honor, Greg Crawford and Mark Baker did a great job during some chilly days to completely remove the ground plane. It is really pleasing and important to be able to remediate past and no longer required infrastructure at locations with no historical value. Indeed it is almost impossible to recognize that infrastructure ever existed at this site, unless you had prior knowledge you would simply walk by oblivious to past important science activity conducted at this site, given the truly transitory nature of the impact. Well done team Davis.

The Big Orange Taxi

FINAL performance for The Big ORANGE Taxi wowed audiences of Davis Station:

“Sensational!” says Geoff Lavers

“Literally rocked my socks off” screamed Bonny Cumming

“Those bass players kicked a**!” Adam Christensen

For our last Saturday night dinner with the summer crew, possibly the greatest band yet to come out of Davis Station, The Big Orange Taxi, performed its final gig in front of a roaring home crowd. The group decided this was to be the last performance together as some members wanted to head off in their own direction. This new band is the love child of “Kiss The Fish” and “Rubber Thing In Your Sound Hole” with a few new talents thrown in as well. During the night they played some of their more famous tunes like “Holy Grail”, “Day Tripper” and “Creep”, with new singles like “Teenage Dirtbag”, “Blister in the Sun” and “Rockin’ in the Free World”, which was definitely a crowd pleaser.

By the end of the night there were tears, lots of hugs, kisses from Rick, bad 1960’s dance moves….we had it all.  It was definitely a night to remember and the Davis band finally got the recognition they deserved and got on the cover of the Rolling Stone. 

For the last time, members of The Big Orange Taxi: Darryl (lead guitar and vocals), Joe and Lucas (rhythm guitar), Nick (drums), Louise (keyboard), Steph and Chris (bass guitar), Rick and Craig (vocals), Alex (vocals and rhythm guitar), Jacki (vocals and percussion). 

The end is nigh

The end is nigh and don’t let the door hit you on your way out. That’s right, the end of summer is here. The winterers finally get their station to themselves. No more long queues for dinner, no more empty chocolate box and, most importantly, no more summerers hogging the mirrors in the gym.

To celebrate the upcoming eviction of the summerers we had a party, and what a party it was. There was spectacular food, glorious awards, exhilarating live music, flamboyant dancing and moderate intake of mother’s milk.

Nurse Sue was Mistress of Ceremonies and presented awards in-between the dinner courses. Awards were presented to those who did something noteworthy, those who did something embarrassing and those who thought they had gotten away with something but hadn’t.

After the awards, meals and Rick kissing everyone, the party moved upstairs for the live music. The band “Big Orange Taxi” rocked out an hour long set of great tunes that had the building shakin’ (Pekin, is the LQ floor rated for a rock concert?).

With the concert over it was just time to hit the nightclub before the cover-charge kicked in. Never have you seen such dance moves and never have you heard such an eclectic range of music.

It was the perfect way to end the summer.

The Doctor’s Dozen — Renato Delfatti

Renato Delfatti

Summer Chef/Gnocchi Master

Buongiorno Renato, is this your first trip to Antarctica and what brought you here?

Yes, this is my first visit to Antarctica. I started to think about coming after hearing about the Antarctic from my son Tom who has had 3 trips here with the Bureau of Meteorology. I wanted to come for a different experience.

What is it like being a chef here?

I like the community and it is great to cook for them, however I had to re-learn some cooking techniques such as convenience foods. (Doctor’s brain immediately turns to Hot Smoko Wednesday’s eggs and bacon and Sausage Roll Tuesday…no wonder I am doing badly in the Doctor VS Chef competition!) In a restaurant the paying customer has different expectations. Here it is more of a challenge to create variety and vary the dishes with a limited range of products. People need to enjoy the food every day.

If you were not cooking up a storm, what would you like to do Renato?

I would like to work in some area of science.

Renato, what has been your best job as a chef?

It was in Melbourne, 1985 to 1989. I had my own restaurant, Valtellina, in Brighton. We were in the Good Food Guide and were competing for Chef’s Hat awards. It was a very busy time with my wife and I cooking and looking after our family of small children as well, but I loved it.

Best experience in Antarctica?

The field trips into remote locations were a highlight for me, especially the Mule Peninsula and the walk across the edge of the ice plateau between field huts.

What do you love about Antarctica?

I love the silence, the panorama and the surroundings in general.

Who inspires you?

I find some of the expeditioners here at Davis inspirational. They are very interesting and passionate about challenge and their professions.

What have you learned living in a small community?


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

My wish would be to spend a winter here. (Certain defeat for me in Doctor VS Chef award)

If you were a car, what would you be?

Any car that can do the task I need it to do.

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

I am quite happy to be who I am.

What is in store when you return home?

I look forward to seeing my family, especially my 5 grandchildren. I will then resume my teaching in Hobart at the Polytechnic and Skills Institute. I also run my own private cooking classes with mature age students which I enjoy as they are always very keen to learn.

Grazie Renato, Ciao.