Hi everyone. Thanks for checking in again. All’s well with us down here! The skies have cleared a little and temperatures have dropped again. We're having a good week here and hope for you the same. Stay tuned and next week we introduce a new segment ‘This week at Davis; Retrospective’ featuring excerpts from past station logs way back in the day. All the best from us.


Works continue apace in the wastewater treatment plant. The plumbers are cracking on (Get it? As in plumber’s crack? Oh, forget it.) with the pipe and duct work installation. During the week we even had Davis station’s number one apprentice lagger, station leader James M, come up and help put the insulation on the heating hot water pipes.

The ceiling plaster works have moved in to the wastewater treatment plant end of the building. But before plaster can be installed the pallet needed to be dug out of the snow and a road cleared to allow delivery to site. Now it’s in the building there’s no stopping the team putting it up.

Environmental audit

Each year, as per requirements within the IS 14001 Standards for Environmental Management Systems, the team at Davis conduct an environmental self-audit. This year an audit was conducted relating to station activities and physical disturbance. For the first time, the audit was conducted using a pre-formatted reporting template on an ipad. Watching SL James attempting to operate the iPad application was a little bit like watching a monkey try and open a coconut but he managed with assistance from the station’s environmental officers Geoff W and Marc M, who supported the completion of the audit.

Midwinter preparation: Tropfest

With midwinter celebrations approaching, Davis station has been abuzz with creativity. There are secret presents being assembled, new bands coming together to form something sounding vaguely musical and a group of thespians formulating the most refreshed rendition of Cinderella since Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic.

Among all this refreshing creativity came an idea of staging the first annual Davis midwinter Tropfest film festival. What is a Tropfest, you ask? Tropfest is officially a short film festival with a maximum of four minutes permitted per film, all of which must include a central theme. This year, our unofficial Tropfest theme is ‘ice’. Creative, I know.

With less than eleven days to go, the station’s filmmakers are in overdrive. Amazing films of horror, comedy and even romance are flying on to the editor’s desk. I await with eager anticipation the screening on midwinter day.

Midwinter preparation: gift making

Midwinter day is approaching, which is the shortest day of the year. We hardy souls here at Davis are well and truly beyond our longest night as we've had no sunrise for over a week now. Part of the celebration of the day involves giving a handmade gift to another expeditioner, drawn out of the hat in a secret draw.

The hobby hut and the workshops have been busy of late on weekends and after work as production of these handmade gifts continue (unless of course you’re organised like me and are already done). Some people are happy to show off part of their work, and others are being a lot coyer with allowing peeks at the unfinished business. It makes for a lot of suspicious activity going on around the place. 

Doc’s Dozen

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?

My parents!

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.