This week at Davis takes a look at the day to day activities on station, examines some seal infrastructure, talks with the least vocal 2012 expeditioner, gets a poet’s view of a trip to the Rauer Islands, celebrates two birthdays (which means cake!), and suffers a bout of footy (tipping) fever.

The day to day

Well life goes on at Davis as six intrepid expeditioners ventured to the Rauers Island group for a four day jolly, and returned seven days later. Dieso Jose saved the day in the end much to the gratitude of his fellow expeditioners.

The rest of us got on with the routine of station life as per normal and enjoyed the change. Tom was looking a little more relaxed this week with the internet giving him less stress. 

Seal luxury

While checking out Plough Island skiway Rob, Joe and Jan came across what can only be described as a luxury seal hole complete with occupant.

The Weddell seals are now returning to the fjords to select a safe haven to give birth, away from the prying eyes of any lurking leopard seal. 

Tradies hard at it

The tradies have been hard at it all week as well. Rob, Joe and Jose kept the power on and vehicles moving, Mark B and Mark C ensured that the lights are working and the power is ever present for our computers. Scotty, Darryl and Steve kept the water flowing, toilets flushing and ventilation finely tuned, while Chris ensured that the doors opened and more importantly were able to be closed and even had some time to move snow.

Just as well they get SOME down time!

Doc’s Dozen with “our Emily”

22nd Expeditioner / That cardboard cut-out chick

Emily, you arrived here unexpectedly at the end of summer, via Office Works and a large ship. What is it like being the 22nd expeditioner?

Other than delving into my freezer for peas, this is my first trip to Antarctica. I love that everyone talks to me and involves me in so many activities. Not sure about being Santa (or Her Majesty) though.

If not a cardboard replica, what job would you do?

Continuing on the paper theme, I would love to write and illustrate children’s books. Otherwise I will continue my day job as mum and lawyer (which both also surprisingly involve lots of paper!).

Best gig as a substitute person?

Hmmm…lurking in people’s bathrooms in the dark has been pretty funny!

What has been your best experience in Antarctica so far Emily?

Seeing the massive elephant seals. I can’t believe I got to go so close. I’m hoping to see some penguins too. The company here is fantastic as well.

Emily, what have you learnt about living in our little Davis family over the winter?

To be a great listener and to keep secrets!

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

To really travel to Antarctica! (and maybe a never-ending packet of Tim Tams)

Now Emily, if you were a car, what would you be? 

An Audi TT, red. Small, shiny and fast.

We have noticed that you don’t talk much Em. Is it us or are you just naturally shy?

I don’t think my husband would describe me as shy! Lucky you guys got the cardboard version of me as I can be a bit of a chatterbox!

Who is your favourite person on station?

Dr Jan Wallace of course! (and Ali too!)

(Wow Em, you’re my favourite person too!)

What has been your favourite special outfit this year?

So many outfits: the seventies outfit, the fur stole, the Santa outfit, the orange jacket, the flapper outfit, the Queen face, the ANZAC hat! I think I loved the sombrero the most.

Have you applied for a summer extension or are you coming home with us?

I am not sure another team will appreciate me as much, so my initial thoughts are to come home but then again, I have loved being here so much, and maybe another group will love me too. Aaahhh such a tough decision.

What is in store when you do return home?

Hopefully a wider array of outfits

Emily, I have to say you have been one of my more challenging interview subjects, but I am delighted with the interesting views and comments you have given us. Who would have thought that a flat-pack person was so interesting!

Birthday boys

A couple of birthdays were celebrated on Sunday and Mel prepared some delicious birthday cakes for Adam and Lincoln.

Footy fever

Despite all the footy hype, Brigid has consistently prepared scrumptious meals for us all to consume, the ‘Grand Final Kiosk’ serving takeaways on Saturday and Sunday being a highlight of the week.

Grand Final weekend also saw a high attendance rate at Nina’s, with the finals being listened to via audio real time as the visual display is painfully obscure and to the non-avid supporter, which team the players belong to can be deceptive, especially during the pregnant pauses in the transmission as someone else on station interrupts the streaming by downloading or uploading oversized images and emails.

At the station meeting on Wednesday trophies were awarded to our footy tipping champions, with Dr Jan taking out both codes (much to the chagrin of Lincoln, who was second best in the NRL).

Coade did a superb job on making the trophies and his efforts were appreciated by all.

Low viz

As I write, we are having another Davis blow of just over 40 knots.

Not much against Casey, Mawson or Macca standards but I cannot see Anchorage Island.

I am sure the webcam will provide some perspective to those watching Davis from Australia and beyond.