This week Davis makes the most of sunny weather by visiting the leucistic penguin on Gardner Island, finishing another skiway, taking a punt on the Melbourne cup and celebrating a birthday which coincides with a year on station.

Mr Plough and Coade at Plough Island

With Davis skiway completed and flagged ready for action, the two groomers have been busy getting the backup skiway at Plough Island ready for possible use should the sea ice at Davis deteriorate quickly.

Thicker snow cover and less dirt and grit make it a blinding contrast to the sea ice surface in front of the station.

Return of the white penguin

Spring is back and so are the penguins, the newbies and the returners.

On Gardner Island, about three kilometres from Davis, there are not only Adélies with the tuxedo suit but also one penguin with a nearly all-white appearance. This rare leucistic Adélie was spotted about three years ago and has been returning to the island every year. 

Like all penguins, Adélies are highly social, foraging and nesting in groups. Sadly being ‘one of a kind’, the white penguin barely interacts with the neighbours but his eyes seem to show the desire.

Hopefully this season his waiting will be accepted and there will be new lives beginning in the nest.

“Love one another and there is happiness. It’s as simple and difficult as that”.

On the way to the amphitheatre

A quad trip up to the amphitheatre last Sunday produced some spectacular photos.

We had to check out the skiway condition just off the station and also progress on the Plough Island skiway further along.

From there a visit to the new mums and baby Weddell seals was in order to check their progress. All looks well in the maternity ward as you can see.

After a lunch at Brookes Hut it was up to the amphitheatre just on the edge of the snow plateau. Rob had not been there before so it was a great treat for him.

The biggest surprise was the ice was not milky blue as seen in the past but a crystal clear with snow and air bubbles. Also there was not a breath of wind and the sun was up, a real treat for VLZ old hats, Rob and Steve.

Trip to Trajer via the Vestfold Lakes

Coade, Linc, Chris and Scotty took off last weekend to Watts hut with the intention of erecting the Watts bridge in preparation for the summer hoards only to find it well and truly buried.

Instead they investigated a route via snow and ice to the back of Trajer Ridge. They arrived at Trajer Ridge hut several hours later only to find the door at Trajer had worked lose and the hut had suffered snow and ice ingress.

They did what they could but most will have to wait for summer visits when the place can be thawed out properly.