Performance review time, the Aurora Australis’ arrival and departure (and what happened in-between), the Doctor’s Dozen and more. It’s been a busy week at Davis.


As the end of the summer season draws to a close, expeditioner performance reviews are written by the leadership team. The reviews cover 4 areas- performance in a work capacity, community and team contribution, compliance with AAD policies and response to authority and lastly response to Australian Antarctic program specific requirements. These reviews give feedback to expeditioners and provide a picture of individual performance back at head office.

Matt took the opportunity to discuss his EPR with his supervisor Dave whilst on a recent clean-up trip to Lake Stinear to remove some old unused science equipment. 

The AA arrives

On Thursday morning as day dawned bright and white the AA slowly edged into the new sea-ice in front of the station and dropped anchor ready to collect the summer personnel and deliver some essential cargo for the winter.

On a tight schedule as always, the ship started operations almost immediately and within the day most of the cargo had been delivered and all the expeditioners, except the aviation team (Pilots, Heli Engineers, AGSOs, and Comms), were settled on board — the station was a MUCH quieter place.

In a cloud of orange smoke

As the ship lifted its anchor and turned to depart on Friday afternoon, those left on station lit all the out of date smoke beacons to bid farewell to the fifty departing summer folk of the 65th ANARE — Goodbye Charmaine, Brad, Tim, Goldie, Rick, Mark, Matt Ryan, Brent, Tully, Ilias, Keaton, Mike, Rod, Horse, Cliffy, John Harris, Francis, Frank the Tank, Ben Honor, Frank Ross, Dougie, Ben Thomas, Jeremy, Bonnie, Marine, Clive, Greg, Geoff, Joe, Ken, David, Matt Morley, Cas, Lucas, Glenn, Andrew, Ray, Craig, Barb, Nick, Danny, Jacki, Louise, Karen, Fluffy, Crazy, Martin, John Hodgson, Renato, Alex. Thanks for a great summer!

Medical meetings

While the ship was in, the doctor on board, Clive Strauss (also the Davis doc from last season), came ashore to deliver medical equipment and supplies to our doc Jan. He also delivered essential items to the SL (a kindle reader that he also purchased and registered, thanks a million Clive) and checked out all the many changes that have taken place on station over the summer.

The Doc’s Dozen — Jeremy Dyer

Jeremy Dyer — senior aircraft engineer/darts master

Jeremy, how many trips to Antarctica have you done and what keeps bringing you back?

This is my third summer down here and I’m down as the senior aircraft engineer maintaining two helicopters here at Davis. I have also done two short winters at Macquarie Island with the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program and a short summer at the Japanese base Syowa in 2008/09. I would have to say that I like Macca the best. I just love the amazing wildlife there.

What is it like being an aircraft engineer here at Davis?

It’s good, a little different from home where you don’t really get out of the hanger. Here we have a lot more involvement in the day to day running of the aircraft with things like refueling, hooking up sling loads and securing the aircraft to prevent damage in a blizzard as well as our primary job of keeping the helicopters safe in the air.

What would be next on your wish-list of careers?

Race car engineering is a real passion so something in that field would be good.

Jeremy, what has been the best job that you have done and what is the worst part of your job?

The best time I have had was a one month work trip to Turkmenistan in 2008 on an oil rig support contract. The worst part of my job is keeping the pilots happy. You have to be good at ego massage sometimes. (Frank and Dougie excepted of course!)

Do you have a favourite machine here at Davis this year?

You do get to know the helicopters very well looking after them for months on end. You become a bit attached to them and get to know all their little idiosyncrasies. My favourite would have to be VH-HRQ, it has a big Lycoming LTS 101 engine. (such a boy answer!)

What has been your best experience in Antarctica?

This summer I had two trips out with the helicopters to support the science group in the Prince Charles Mountains. They were a great group of people in an amazing part of the world.

What do you love about Antarctica?

Getting paid for an adventure that so many people have to pay to do.

Who inspires you?

Anyone who is driven to achieve something great in their lives.

What have you learned living in our little community at Davis?

If you were a car, what would you be? (now this should be interesting… a Lamborghini perhaps?)

I would be a Mini Cooper S. Pale blue with a white roof. (Got that one wrong!)

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

Formula 1 driver would be alright for a day or two. (I can see a theme coming through here with Jeremy)

What will you do when you get home from this summer season?

I will just enjoy being home with family and friends for a while, then maybe a holiday somewhere warm.

Thanks for your time today Jeremy, let’s just get a photo of you with your favourite tool.

Perfect sunset

There are so many beautiful sunsets at Davis and with the days getting markedly shorter, we have to make the most of them.

In a couple of months the sun won’t be coming above the horizon at all and this place will look very different. Lets hope there are plenty of auroral displays for our visual pleasure.

Davis expeditioners send Happy Easter wishes to all our family and friends. We love you!