Davis resupply and the return of the cartoon master.

Davis over ice resupply

Resupply is one of the busiest periods of the year at Davis. The Aurora Australis  not only delivers the new seasons expeditioners to Davis but also the supplies and materials that are needed on station for the next twelve months. The cargo includes fruit, vegetables, clothing, household goods, building materials, medical supplies, stationary and even a 35 tonne crane. During this resupply over 600 tonne of cargo and 600,000 litres of fuel was unloaded from the ship in less than seven days.

The resupply at Davis is unique in that it conducted over ice. It can take several days for the ship to break its way through the fast ice to get close enough to Davis to moor. When close enough to the station the ship stops breaking in and 1.6 metre thick ice secures it in place. An ice road is then constructed from the station to the ship. A two kilometre hose is laid from the ship to the station for the fuel transfer.

The thick ice is that strong that heavy vehicles can be driven right up to the side of the ship and cargo unloaded via the ship’s crane directly onto waiting vehicles below. All the expeditioners involved in the resupply are thoroughly trained and briefed in the operation which can be risky in such an unusual cold environment.

Resupply went very smoothly and the fresh fruit and food was very much appreciated, especially by last year’s winterers whom hadn’t tasted a fresh orange for a long time.

Nick Cartwright

Davis is very fortunate this year to have Nick on station; he is a very talented artist/cartoonist with a wicked sense of humour.  He has gracefully agreed to supply Davis Icy News with one of his works each week.

About the artist

My name is Nick Cartwright. I’m a wintering carpenter, an Antarctic ‘repeat offender’ and responsible for cartooning the pants off the Mawson Winter of 2008 for Icy News.

I am surrounded by an abundance of fabulous filmic record of Davis, and Antarctica in general, so consequently find the drawn image has as an advantage in its rarity and therefore, its novelty.

There are other defining advantages. Primarily, that it is created after the fact, so there is no mechanical device required to be on hand at any precise moment, and the moment is experienced and enjoyed without interruption. Then in recreating the moment on paper, there is license to take the truth and stretch it to include the physically impossible, the surreal, the totally absurd. Such fantasy often emanates from fellow expeditioners just chatting around the dinner table. This end of the spectrum has recently been extended to Cryptic Cartoons, ideas spawned from some avid cryptic crossworders on the ship down to Davis this year. Watch this space.