At Davis station, the winners are announced for the 48 Hour Antarctic Film Festival, plus expeditioners get out into the field for science and more.

Nick’s Cartoon of the Week

The winners of the 2014 Antarctic Film Festival are…

A few weeks ago we wrote about our participation in the 48 Hour Antarctic Film Festival conducted during the first weekend in August.

Winter can be extremely isolating down here and the 48 Hour Antarctic Film Festival brings all stations together for one special weekend to entertain, create and celebrate our own little corner of the earth.

The films show off the diversity and variations between the different stations while simultaneously maintaining an Antarctic unity. It’s wonderful to get insights, glimpses into life and work across the ice.

Thirty-seven films were submitted from across the continent. Judging has now been completed and the winners were announced during the week.

The winners are [drum roll]…

48 Hour Category

Best film : 1st place — Davis station

Best acting : 3rd place — Davis station

Screenplay : 1st place — Davis Station

Best use of elements : 3rd place — Davis station

Open Film Category 

Best acting : 3rd place — Davis station 

Well done to all at Davis station. When you return home, don’t be surprised when people stop you in the street and say ”I know you, weren’t you that person in that award winning film”. 

In the name of science

This week again saw Alyce and I out in the field.

We enlisted the help of Stu and Josh once more, but this time we had our sights set on Deep Lake. This lake is further inland than the other lakes we sample, so collecting water is a little more difficult. Due to limited access to the lake, we have to bring the water up a valley by foot — a process which last time took us about eight hours. Luckily the guys had a great idea to use ropes up the valley between the Hägglunds and the lake to pull the water up on a sled. This allowed us to use the Hägglunds rather than our backs to pull the 150L (or approximately 180kg) of water up the hill, saving a lot of time and physical effort.

We are very grateful for Stu and Josh’s help.  Alyce and I spent the afternoon and evening in the lab filtering the water and taking all our samples. Thanks heaps guys!

Sarah Payne

On the job

On Tuesday Corey, Craig, Dom, Paul, Nick and Narelle departed station early with two snow groomers and two Hägglunds pulling 69 drums of fuel on four sleds. The team of six were tasked with relocating fuel drums to Woop Woop (Davis station’s skiway on the plateau).

The journey to Woop Woop and return took just over 12 hours with weather conditions challenging at times. Winds exceeded 35 knots on the plateau and whilst these conditions are acceptable for the work we were doing, at one stage visibility dropped to 50 metres due to blowing snow. Thankfully these conditions were short-lived.

In the field

Dave visited Hawker Island this week for the purpose of checking the bird cameras and to download data from these cameras onto his computer. What looks like an island covered in snow and rocks from a distance, rapidly revealed itself as more when Dave slowly approached the cameras and noticed many of the rocks were moving. 

Dave counted a total of 14 giant petrels. 

On station

Rob Isaac, one of our talented photographers, was out and about this week with his camera taking photos of things of interest from Layla throwing boiling water into the air and watching it freeze before it hits the ground — in temps colder than −28°C — to strange snow formations on the side of buildings.