This week at Davis, the weekly cartoon covers a serious issue, snaps from around station show the weekly work (and some fun), serious field training is conducted and expeditioners hold a medieval feast — castle included.

Nick’s Cartoon of the Week

On station

The focus for the team this week has varied from medical and first aid training, transporting 21 drums of fuel to Woop Woop, preparation meetings and packing for the Rauers trip next week and general station maintenance. For the early risers a stunning aurora display high above station was witnessed and one of our expeditioners decided he missed the surf so much he Photoshopped an image of himself surfing a sea ice wave.

In readiness for the medieval party Nick, our resident carpenter and cartoonist, decided to turn a large snow blizz tail at the entrance to our main building into a dragon (or it may have been a caterpillar or a springtail).

The last few days has seen the concerted effort by all trades focused on the preparation of two ‘kings sheers’ sleds, to be used on the science initiated Rauers traverse, scheduled to commence next week (weather permitting).

There has been a focus on attention to detail in the defect and update repairs to the sleds. I am sure this has nothing to do with the very same trades personnel making the repairs also being part of the traverse expedition team. The detail I refer to is the draught proofing dunny door, design and material selection of dunny seat etc. — makes you wonder what Douglas Mawson would make of us today.

Seriously though, any traverse requires planning and attention to detail in the Antarctic. Preparation for this trip has literary been months in the making predominantly at the Davis station, but also with input from the whole of the Australian Antarctic Division.

The two sleds, one housing accommodation and the other to carry fuel, and the dunny will be towed by Hägglunds, a proven reliable work horse in the conditions found in the Antarctic.

Mark Johnson

Field training

Those heading to the Rauers next week (an area located on the other side of the Sørsdal Glacier) completed their final training session on the weekend. Paul (ERT Leader) and Narelle (Station Leader) organised for the team to travel around station in the Hägglunds and at regular intervals, were required to respond to a staged incident.

Within a two hour period they traversed across crevasse terrain, two expeditioners ‘fell into’ a crevasse and were ‘rescued'. They also encountered 90 knot winds and zero visibility when they were away from the Hägglunds. The challenge for the team involved included helping each other return to shelter (the Hägglunds) whilst they were blindfolded, walking on a lean (pretending they were walking into strong winds), and only communicating by whispering.

Will they encounter a similar experience next week? Absolutely not, but it created great entertainment for those looking on.

Davis turns medieval

The percy out of Northumberland,

An avow to God made he

That he would hunt in the mountains

Of Cheviot within days of three,

In the maugre of doughty Douglas ,

And all that e’er with him be.

Then the Percy of Banborowe came,

With a mighty meinye,

With fifteen hundred archers bold

Chosen out of shires three.