Davis station prepares to hunker-down for the long winter ahead with a resupply.

Resupply at Davis

It has been a very busy two weeks for all expeditioners at Davis with the Aurora Australis arriving at the station last Friday 25th. The following eleven days have seen over 600 tons of cargo and 600,000 litres of fuel delivered to the station in the first over-water resupply here for many years. Traditionally the resupply is carried out over sea ice much earlier in the season. All expeditioners on station are involved in the resupply process as well as getting their last minute jobs completed before departing Davis for home. This season the Davis summer crew will have to cool their heels on the ship for a few weeks as they will have one more stop over at Mawson station before heading for Hobart.

Refuelling and cargo

During resupply, everyone on station is expected to get involved. This could include being on the refuelling roster which operates around the clock once commenced and will not stop until the required amount of fuel has been delivered. With a combination of set-up, pumping and pack-up times, this operation took around 30 hours to complete, all the while cargo operation continued during the daytime working hours. The cargo is lifted from the ship onto a barge which then transports its load to the wharf approximately two kilometres each way. Once at the wharf, the load is lifted by the station crane onto a truck and delivered to station. 

Then there were 17

The Aurora Australis departed Davis at midday on Sunday 3rd and has now travelled to Mawson, which is also due for resupply this voyage, before heading north back to Hobart, Tasmania. With the station population going from around 90 expeditioners over the summer to now only 17 for the next nine months, significant change to the station dynamics will occur. While it was sad to say goodbye to the people we have become friends within a very short time over summer, it is also nice to now settle into what we will know as station life until the Aurora Australis returns once again with our replacements sometime around October-November.