Davis station continues important site work, conducts an emergency medical drill, expeditioners receive tracked vehicle training and a new hut finds a home at Hop Island. Next week, results of the annual Davis table tennis tournament!

Waste not, want not: part two

Works are continuing at a great rate. The concreting is continuing, the site services pipework is making its way into the building and the electricians are running cables in to get power and a new ‘ring main unit’ on line. A lot of the snow has melted around the place but it is still common to see someone shovelling their way in and around buildings, pipes and cable trays. 

This is just a drill!

Antarctica is very well known as the most remote continent, and our expeditioners need to fulfill a variety of roles, often in areas outside of our regular work. One such example is the training our winter team has received to undertake both fire response and medical assistance for the doctor. To keep these honing these skills, exercise are scheduled regularly. This week a drill was initiated using the scenario of an injured carpenter and the team swung into action. The good news, being an exercise, was that the ‘casualty’ ended the day as happy and healthy as he started it.

Hägglunds training

This week the field training officers (FTOs) have started to take the winter team out on to the sea ice for Hägglunds travel training. As part of this training, the windshield is partially blocked to simulate white out conditions and ensuring familiarisation with the GPS and radar. At the same time the FTO in the front passenger seat has a complete view of what is ahead to avoid any mishaps.

Hop Island revisited

Recently the call came out that myself (Chris), Scott, Bryce, Horse, John and Brian would be flying out to Hop Island, in the Rauer group of islands, about 20 kilometres to the east of station to install a new ‘melon’ hut and remove the old ‘apple’ hut.

The run up to this trip started about ten days previously with a trial run at putting together a melon in the boat shed. With that being successful it was time for the real thing. Off we went to Hop Island with pallets of tools, a timber base and the all-important melon.

Once we arrived, we set about assembling the timber base and levelling the ground. Then came the fun bit of putting the jigsaw of pieces together. With a bit of pushing and shoving we managed to get the melon together and bolted down. We then retired for a well earned meal and a good sleep, the latter proving a bit difficult when you are 6’2” tall and lying on a 5’ bed.

The next day was spent putting in all the furniture and siliconing up the seams on the outside then putting the old apple on to a pallet to be flown home. All this was done with a friendly skua (bird) paying us a visit from time to time.

Whilst building the hut I noticed that if you squint your eyes and use your imagination, the end with the door looks rather like Dougal the shaggy dog from children’s show, the Magic Roundabout. I've now given it the nickname ‘Dougal’ — hopefully the name will stick.

Bryan and his helicopter took us home for lunch after a pleasant couple of days and a job well done.