Cliff S-D (aka Rowdy), General Trades, Media Superstar, Davis Middle Earth resident
Tell me Cliffy, how many trips have you done to Antarctica?
Ahhhh well, this is my third winter, and is it three or four summers, maybe five? I've lost count.
What is it like being in general trades here?
If it’s work you talking about “Arrrrrrgh!”, I don’t like any sort of work. I’m pretty sure I even said that at my psyche test to come down here.
Best gig as a tradie?
Working on Christmas Island. I went scuba diving nearly every day. Got to dive with whale sharks and manta rays, and certain beverages were duty free.
Best experience in Antarctica?
Flying in to McMurdo in 2012, spending a few days there then flying to Casey. After a few weeks at Casey, I flew in a Twin Otter to Davis in time for Christmas, then on Boxing Day I flew to Mawson. I saw some amazing sights, from the Dry Valleys to Scullin Monolith.
What do you love about Antarctica, Cliffy?
Everyone asks me this. It’s not the cold that’s for sure. When there’s no wind and you’re away from the sounds of station it’s so quiet. Ahhhh, serenity now. The awesome views and the way the light changes on the icebergs, the animals, it’s all fantastic. Oh and I've gotten to meet some amazing people along the way and make some very good friends.
Who inspires you?
What have you learned living in a small community?
People will always make a mess and slam doors, don’t worry about it. It’ll just stress you out.
What is the ‘must have’ item that you packed for Antarctica?
Music DVDs, mainly blues, helps keep me sane.
(Doc: Are you sure you’re getting to listen to enough music Rowdy?)
If you could be someone else, who would it be?
Ah, that’s a hard one. Oh, I know: Shrek.
Why is your nickname Rowdy?
I don’t know, wish I knew.
(Doc: Well I can tell you why! I was a nervous first-time Doc just arrived on station and this wild man winterer appeared at the top of the stairs and glared down into the bar at the quivering newbies and BELLOWED: “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” It didn't take me long to realise that you were a total marshmallow and that was your normal volume.)
Cliffy, I have noticed that you have a very strong social conscience. What drives this and what are you passionate about?
I've seen a lot of grief, trauma, bullying domestic violence, people with gambling and substance abuse issues etc, etc and I noticed when these folks are helped to get out of these situations they generally do better and the whole community benefits. So when I see funding to schools, hospitals and community support groups being cut I don’t see it as being an investment in the future. Hope that made sense. (Doc: It makes complete sense Rowdy.)
Thing I’m most passionate about? Scuba diving. I’d put motor bikes up there as well but I keep falling off ‘em. OUCH!
If you were a car, what car would you be?
Valiant AP6. I've got one and it’s a year younger than me and runs a lot better than me. (Doc: I would have to agree. Your car is in much better shape.)
What is in store when you return to home?
Probably settle down, get married and hopefully have kids. HA!
Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Thank you so much Rowdy for a little peep into your world. (Of course you are very well known already after your brilliant star appearance on the recent ABC Catalyst program, Polar People.) Station life just wouldn't be the same without you.