This has been a great week at Davis: scientific experiments successfully completed, communication towers upgraded, patches of blue sky found amongst a sea of grey for flights to Casey, very solid progress on the Waste Water Treatment Plant, a textbook main power house shutdown, a reordered storehouse following resupply and a range of international visits and social events adding a splash of colour against the brown Vestfolds hills and the rapidly melting sea ice.

Power down, power up

With the Davis summer season in full swing it was time to commence the main power house (MPH) shut down for summer 14/15. During this time we had to rely on ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Clyde’ (two older generators, located in the emergency powerhouse) to get us through the week. After some impressive load results the previous week they were ready to take over supplying our power whilst we gave the MPH some maintenance and some much needed upgrades.

With the knowledge and experience of having Josh F and Val P staying on for the summer we were all set for a quick shutdown. The old exhausts on genset one and four went and were replaced with two new custom exhausts courtesy of Seamus L. With a full team of electricians, plumbers, diesel mechanics and general trades, the shutdown was completed safely and efficiently five days later. There was a collective sigh of relief when the electrical supply was switched back from the EPH to the MPH. A good night’s sleep was had by all.

Towering Tarbuck

This week the communications team flew to Tarbuck Ridge to complete the antennae swap out and general maintenance of the repeater that lives on the hill. Ron couldn’t help but add an additional (but temporary) element to the setup of the mast for a photo opportunity.

International visitors

This week we welcomed friends from the Chinese Antarctic Program who made a brief visit on their way from our neighbouring station, Zhongshan. The Chinese supply ship Xue Long spent Friday morning off Davis station to enable a helicopter transfer of project supplies. These supplies are intended for a geology field project to be facilitated from Davis station to the Prince Charles Mountains later this summer involving four Chinese scientists. The brief visit also gave us an opportunity to reaffirm ties with counterparts in the Chinese program by welcoming a small party led by Mr Yuan, the leader of the 31st CHINARE expedition for a tour of our station and morning tea.

Davis community part 1: trivia night

Tuesday night saw an entertaining trivia night hosted by Katherina P. and Cristin S. There were some very unconventional answers, surprisingly very little graft and corruption, and some TERRIBLE singing. The winning team was SMT, but trivia was definitely the loser on the night.

Davis community part 2: table tennis final

Davis community part 3: Christmas preparations

Being away from mainstream media and advertising, you could almost be forgiven for not realising that Christmas is just around the corner. That was well and truly rectified this week as the call went out for ‘Santa’s Helpers’ to come and put up the tree and decorate the living quarters. Even the odd Grinch or two were spotted getting into the spirit of Christmas.

For those at home wishing to see the Christmas preparations, senior communications technical officer Stu Shaw created a time-lapse video.