Hi everyone, welcome back to beautiful sunny Davis. Thanks for your interest! We have aurora pics, a three hut tour, an outdoor game of Kubb and more for you. We won’t be around next week but we promise to make it up to you in a fortnight’s time. With best wishes from the team here!


Those of our loyal readers who have heard so much about the waste water treatment plant will be pleased to know that we are now in the installation phase of the plant itself. In fact this is the second time that this particular plant has been built. The construction phase actually started in the northern hemisphere. This exact plant was built and tested over in Germany before being dismantled and packed into five containers for the long journey to Davis. Our challenge now is to rebuild the plant. Putting it back together isn’t as straight forward as you’d might think but we're getting our heads around it. Thankfully we have plans, well marked and identified pipes and fittings, and a full suite of photos of the plant as installed in Germany to guide us.

Around the rest of station, the team are starting to get things ready for the coming summer season. The Davis ski landing area on the sea ice out the front of station is being groomed by the diesel mechanics in preparation for the arrival of the fixed wing aircraft. Some of the buildings that have been idle are being brought out of winter mode by the plumbing and electrical teams. And the last of the SMQ bedroom furniture upgrades that we will achieve by the end of the winter season are drawing to an end.​


Three hut tour

On Sunday 4 October, the skies parted and the universe was put to rights — there would be no more bad weather, no mechanical surprises, no turning back. Under these conditions members of the first Rauers traverse team who’d had to turn back, took off from station by Hägglunds on an epic ‘mega-jolly’ — as their illustrious leader Chris G would call it — that encompassed three huts in four days.

Early in the afternoon, after the requisite period of waiting for James to find his gloves, the crew set off first for Trajer hut via the waypoint line to Woop Woop. Travelling up on the plateau, the Vestfold hills spread before them, Davo, Chris G, Dennis and James finally hung a right and descended down between the stark edges of Trajer ridge, pulling up at the Trajer ridge melon amidst the late afternoon shadows to make camp for the night.

The following days passed between Trajer, Platcha and Brookes huts in a sun filled haze of short walks, cards and book reading, naps, cooking and sleeping. With their knowledge of the local area both Davo and Chris showed us some great little spots nestled in amongst the nooks and crannies of the Vestfolds, which was finally beginning to live up to its reputation as the ‘Riviera of the South'.

At Brookes, as at Platcha, we could sit out on sun warmed benches and sense the coming of a summer not too far away. At night, the clear skies treated us to some spectacular auroras overhead and across the horizon. A very good time was had by all.


Traditionally played on a lawn or grassy field, in the late afternoon sunshine of a Scandinavian summer, the Swedish game of Kubb is a natural fit for the barren, ice covered rocky coast of the Vestfold hills. Recently, the first (known) game of Kubb was played by members of the Davis team.

Artfully crafted by our very own carpenters Mr Scotty W and Mr Chris G to the precise specifications (as James was able to remember them), and played according to the rules (as James could remember them), the rectangular playing pitch was set up just out the front of the living quarters. Wooden block ‘Kubbs’ were placed at each end of the pitch with a larger wooden ‘King’ piece placed in the middle. Ultimately the objective of the game is to use other wooden batons to knock down your opponent’s Kubbs before claiming the King.

Reputedly an old Viking game, and known in parts as ‘Viking Chess', Kubb is a pretty handy game for a Saturday afternoon on station. Not only is the act of throwing wooden blocks at other wooden blocks sort of cathartic, but you can still manage to hold your glass of home brew in one hand as you play with the other.

Doc’s Dozen


Damian, Davis Chef

Dami-san, is this your first trip to Antarctica and what brings you to this part of the planet?

I have previously endured two winters with the New Zealand program, so this is my third winter — the first with the AAD. What brings me here? I like snow. And the job is pretty good compared to normal Melbourne grind.

Doc: If you like snow so much why is it that the whole station stops and stares when you go outside?

What is it like being the chef here?

Horrible, it would be much better if everyone would just stop eating. (Ed. very funny.) Sometimes it’s good, I can cook whatever I like and have an immense amount of supplies to do it with.

If not a chef what job would you do?

Bed tester — I’m pretty good at sleeping.

Doc: There is a lot to recommend a good nap too.

Best gig as a chef Dami-san?

When I opened that 300 seat café and 200 seat restaurant simultaneously at Federation Square in Melbourne. Oh wait, you meant best gig — not that one. Supper shift at the European was pretty good.

DOC: I remember having a yummy Crôque Monsieur there once. What do you reckon the odds are that you made it for me? Isn’t the universe strange sometimes?

What has been your best experience in Antarctica so far?

Assisting LINZ people map the dry valleys in 2008. Nine hours of flying in a helicopter around the dry valleys landing on obscure mountain tops in order to produce/update maps.

Doc: We are here for peace and science after all!

What do you love about Antarctica?

Less people means statistically fewer annoying people. That and living in a money-less society, everything is barter around here. I’ll cook food if you make water, and you fix my broken oven, etc.

Who inspires you?

Anthony Bourdain. Fergus Henderson.

Doc: H’mm. Interesting choices. Which part of Anthony Bourdain’s career influences you the most I wonder?

What have you learned living in our little microcosm of Davis?

To be polite. Well, to be polite sometimes.

If you were a car, what car would you be?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It would be choice to fly my friends around whilst they gaily sing songs of merriment.

What is the ‘must have’ item that you packed for Antarctica?

Kindle, about 300 gigabytes of music, and headphones.

If you could be someone else, who do you think that would it be?

That guy in Sapporo, Japan who just makes ramen all day.

If I had a magic wand to send you anywhere in the world to eat, where would it be and what would you have?

Noma in Denmark, Faviken in Sweden or St. Johns in London. I will have whatever they cook. I believe it is better not knowing what you’re going to be eating — less prior prejudice to influence your palate (yes Brendan, that’s a dig at you).

Any ideas why Japanese Horror is your preferred movie genre?

It’s a natural progression from watching too much X-Files growing up. And most western horror movies lack the same imagination and generally bizarre characters. Too much gore and not enough weird.

What is in store when you return to home?

Being an unemployed 37 year old that lives with his parents. That and I’m going to order pizza.

Doc: Hey, the offer to come and live at my place still stands and we can still get pizza.

Well Dami-san, your Doc’s Dozen has been worth the wait.