Preparations are underway to clear a landing strip for planes at Davis station. In the field, unpredictable Antarctic conditions slow down science. Rob celebrates a stellar birthday and expeditioners share photos of some recent stunning sights.

Work on the ice skiway commences

Work has commenced on clearing the Davis skiway landing area with the Prinoth snow groomer and drag beam. Corey and Craig will be working on the skiway for the next month to ensure the landing strip meets all requirements and is ready for operation by the end of October. They seem to be enjoying doing lines at the moment — certainly beats working in a workshop every day.

In the field

During the week Alyce, Sarah, Lesley and Ali left station for Watts hut. Alyce and Sarah had planned to spend four nights away from station using the hut as their base. The primary purpose of their trip was to take water samples from lakes and bays close by.

Ali and Lesley had planned to restock the emergency food bins and change over bedding items at Crooked Lake apple hut, Marine Plain apple hut and Watts hut. Unfortunately they didn’t get too far — when they reached Ellis Narrows they noticed the immediate area past the narrows was under water. The higher than normal tide (1.7 metres) caused the ice to break out close to the narrows and the remaining sea ice was covered in salt water.

Plan B

After taking a number of photos the team returned to station. Keen not to waste time, Alyce and Sarah set up the mobile science tent on the sea ice directly off station and commenced sampling. Hopefully next week the Ellis Narrows will be back to being passable and our resident scientists can revert back to Plan A.

Celebrating Rob’s birthday

We celebrated two birthdays on station this week.

A few days prior to Rob’s birthday, Stu circulated an email to everyone on station (excluding Rob of course) inviting the team to sneak over to the ANARESAT Dome after work on Tuesday with a few refreshing ales. To ensure the birthday celebration remained a surprise we were under instruction not to wish Rob a happy birthday all day. Stu was kept busy ensuring Rob didn’t notice the masses walking towards an area very few people go to later in the day. It worked! Rob had no idea, or so he says.

There was another birthday celebrated on station during the week. One of our quieter community members tried to have his birthday go unnoticed but a few of us are in the ‘know’ — happy birthday ‘X’.

Photo gallery