From Davis we have the cartoon of the week, science, work and some stunning images. Also, meet Alyce!

Nick’s Cartoon of the Week

All in the name of science! The winter sea ice monitoring team (Paul, Dave, Nick and our resident elephant seals) commenced sea ice measurements this week.


As soon as the sea ice is thick enough to walk on, expeditioners commence recording the depth of the sea ice at seven designated locations, all within close proximity to station. This year Paul is overseeing the project for our science colleagues back in Hobart and each week a few of the Davis team will head out and drill a small hole until they reach water, then they can measure the depth of the sea ice.

We’ve been watching the sea ice form over the past six weeks and have been impressed with how it has remained intact even when the very large and heavy elephant seals make their way north for the winter. Looking at past records and comparing depths and dates that the teams before us recorded, we decided last week was a good time to start. All the normal precautions were taken in regard to safety and our goal of measuring Ice Point one, two and seven was achieved. In another few weeks sites three to six will be added to the list.

On the job

The ability to operate within a team and with other teams has always been part of Antarctic life. A prime example of this being the maintenance of the main power house which contains boilers for heating the station, electrical generators and control systems along with four Cat diesel engines as a initial power source.

This requires three trades plumbers, electricians and mechanics to work, not only alongside each other but directly with each other at various times. The past week was one of those occasions. We shut down number three genset to carry out defect repairs and took the opportunity to complete preventative maintenance at the same time.

Josh (electrical), Craig and Corey (mechanics) worked as a team to complete all repairs in a safe and timely manner.

And whilst the above occurred, Paul and Nick installed a large door on our new waste treatment shed, Dom and Stu headed out to Adams Flat to conduct weekly depth readings, stocktakes continued in the green store (warehouse) and Adam was busy in his garden.

Who’s who at Davis

Introducing Alyce Hancock

Why Antarctica?

I have wanted to go to Antarctica since I was 14 and saw a talk by a past Antarctic expeditioner. Since then I have focused my studies on Antarctica, completing a Masters of Antarctic Studies in 2011. I am fascinated by Antarctica and Antarctic wildlife due to how different it is to anywhere else in the world. The conditions that organisms have adapted to down here is amazing. I also see Antarctica as one of the few places on Earth that is virtually unaffected by humans and think it is important to study and protect the environment for any future human impacts.

Previous Antarctic experience?

This is my first time to Antarctic but I have previously spent time in the Arctic (Svalbard).

How will you spend your time down here?

I am working for a project studying the microbial communities in the Vestfold Lakes so much of my time will be spent in the field collecting samples, then analysing them back in the lab at Davis. In my spare time I plan to see as much of the Vestfolds as possible and learn as many new skills and techniques as possible (I am currently working on a new craft each week, this week it is sewing).

What will you miss?

My friends and family, swimming (I am basically a fish) and fresh fruit like bananas and strawberries.

What will you do when you get back?

I am hoping to start a PhD when I get back to Australia.

Best thing about being here?

That everything you do is something amazing, even going for a walk or bike ride down here turns into an epic adventure.

Favourite music?

Depends on my mood but these days I mostly listen to easy chilling music like Angus Stone, Of Monsters and Men etc.

Favourite authors?

Any good fantasy authors.

Wildlife and scenery

The sights, sounds and smells at Davis Station.