A bumper issue after last week’s technical problems. It includes the 2014 winter team photo shoot, fire team training, field work, a birthday, and the welcome return of wildlife.

Famous Antarctic quotes

“If it’s 0 degrees today, and it’s going to be twice as cold tomorrow… how cold will it be?”
Unknown author

“We were the only pulsating creatures in a dead world of ice.”
Frederick Albert Cook

Nick’s cartoon of the week

As reported a couple of weeks ago, Corey, Craig and Mark have the responsibility of preparing a sea ice landing area for the Basler and Twin Otter aircraft scheduled to arrive at the end of the month. Every day, for a month, the team travels up and down the designated landing strip in straight lines grooming the area. This ensures the strip is in perfect condition for the aircraft to safely land. It’s a repetitive job, however the guys seem to keep themselves amused.

2014 winter team photo shoot

Two weeks ago on a clear sunny day ‘Team Davis’ ventured out onto the sea ice with coffee tables, plastic plants, lounges, bar stools and tables. Our purpose — to take a few group photos with the best of the best to be printed, framed and placed on the wall alongside all the winter teams before us. The photos were taken late in the afternoon when the light was at its best and with nil wind no-one was in a rush to head back to station.

Fire team training

Two weeks ago all station personnel participated in fire team training. Fire chiefs Stu and Adam had everyone fully kitted, including a difficult to see through face mask and standard breathing apparatus equipment. The teams had to make their way through the living quarters, down and up stairs, through doors and around corners dragging a heavy hose.

On the job

When taking the weekly sea ice measurements close to station, Nick and Dave happened to stumble across an Adélie penguin. This is the first sighting of an Adélie penguin since tens of thousands of them departed Davis early last March for the open water. There may have only been one penguin (now nicknamed ‘Scout’), but over the coming days we expect then to all arrive back in very large numbers. Summer has returned!

PJ, Dom, Narelle and Josh left station early Monday morning for Woop Woop (Davis Skiway on the plateau) — a four hour drive. PJ worked hard on making a few important adjustments to the Automatic Weather Station, Josh assisted PJ, whilst Narelle and Dom swapped out old food for new, and changed over all bedding items. The team decided to call into Bandits hut for the night before returning to station before smoko.

Alyce, Sarah and Narelle completed a recreational trip out to Ellis Narrows with the sole purpose of measuring the depths of the sea ice at a number of locations affected by flooding the week before. The team were happy to report only the very top layer (15cm) of sea ice was affected. Below that top layer, measurements of over one metre of solid ice were recorded. After proving it was safe to do so, Alyce and Sarah have since returned to Ellis Fjord and are continuing with their water sampling.

In the field

With less than three weeks to go before the ship arrives everyone is keen to head off station (especially now the sun remains above the horizon 14+ hours per day) to revisit their favourite places and quietly observe the female Weddell seals attending to their newborn pups. Judy, Layla, Paul and Mark selected Platcha hut as their base for two nights whilst they explored the local areas around the hut, Brookes and Long Fjord.

Birthday celebrations

Wildlife returns to Davis