Hi everyone. This week at Davis we welcome back the traverse team, we head out with Adam to the cameras up on Gardner Island, the gentlemen in our infrastructure team get busy painting, installing and fixing and our Doc interviews Ms Vicki H.


With the traverse going on this week things were a little quiet around station but that didn’t stop the infrastructure team cracking on with the works program. The sewer outfall line job was tidied up and completed to the satisfaction of all.

The projects team are getting their teeth into installing the waste water treatment plant proper now. All the components are now inside the building and the pipe and cable tray works have started.

The workshop office has been in a need of a good paint for a while now so Dave, Chris and Scott have pulled the place apart to spruce the walls up. The next stage is to update the flooring.

But by far the most important job was to get the front fridge cabinet back up and running after it started making some horrible noises during the week.​

Camera maintenance on Gardner Island

On Tuesday, beneath dark grey clouds interspersed with occasional brilliant sunshine, Adam C and his assistant headed out to Gardner Island just off Davis station to inspect and replace components of three remote cameras established to monitor penguin nesting sites. Now silent and empty, these sites will soon be filled with the sound of penguins and the occasional subdued click of a lens as the three cameras capture images of the colony, part of a longitudinal study. 

Doc’s Dozen

Vicki H, Senior Meteorology Observer

Vicki how many trips (plus the years) have you done to Antarctica and what keeps you coming back here?

Casey 2009, Mawson 2012, Macca 2013/14 summer and this trip. So nearly four years by the time I leave Davis. Well you need to see all the stations don’t you? ;-)

What is it like being a Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) observer here?

I keep telling people that they don’t pay me enough to control the weather.

If not a BOM observer what job would you do?

Be a millionaire so I could travel without having to worry about pesky bills.

Doc: I SO agree about those bills being pesky.

Best gig as a BOM observer?

The remote postings, Giles and the Antarctic. I've never been to Willis Island: the seasickness problem. Lord Howe Island looks fab too. Macca was probably most exciting as it was a short notice summer job — usually we have to do the full 12 months.

What has been the most memorable balloon release you have ever done?

The high speed ones when you just let go and then watch the balloon pop in mid air, after it has nearly pulled you over. Then you have fun digging around in the snow looking for the sonde, or among the pebbles in the sea at Macca.

Vicki, what have been some of your best experiences in Antarctica?

Auster Rookery at Mawson, and all the wildlife at Macca. Being on a quad on the sea ice on a sunny day. The people ain’t bad either.

What do you love about Antarctica?

The place, the people, the experience. Lots of chances to see something few others do and practice photography.

Who inspires you?

My family.

What have you learned living in a small community?

Chocolate is essential and bite your tongue!

What has been your favourite community event so far this season?

Midwinter was fun, and any event with yummy food is always good.

Doc: Yes, and with Chef Dami we have been very very spoiled this year.

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

I've a pretty hopeless knowledge of cars, probably something like Dad’s old Hupmobile (1925). I get grumpy when I’m tired too.

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

My camera, decent heated gloves, earplugs, a few balls of wool, and an eReader. Chocolate and coffee should be supplied, unfortunately, the snorers are free. Jan, there is just never one thing!

Doc: So true Vicki, people just don’t realise how many beanies you need too. There are your everyday ones in summer and winter weight, weekend going out ones, different colours depending on which jacket you’re wearing, special occasion ones, cute and novelty selections, fleece or knitted — the list goes on!

If you could be someone else, who would it be?

Anne McCaffrey, she was a great science fiction author.

What is in store when you return to home?

Lots and lots of holiday time, catch up with family and friends, gardening and finish uni. Then back to work at Adelaide Airport.

Well Vicki, I have learned a thing or two. I had to Google the Hupmobile and I am thinking that I must go and drag out the spring range of beanies now that the sun is back. You are definitely one of the lucky few who have been able to experience all four of our Antarctic stations, each with its own unique charms. Best of luck with the studies ahead.

The pilgrims returneth

Well, the second traverse team, led by Aaron C had a lot more success than the first and their story is not ours to tell [yet]. Stay tuned next week for an in depth report from one of our roving correspondents. In the meantime, bear witness to their victorious return to station.