On behalf of the six fathers present at Davis, we wish their families, as well as the families of all our other expeditioners, a very happy Father’s Day.
This week at Davis: 4 September 2015
Happy Father’s Day
A return to Deep Lake
Last weekend, Dennis, Sealy and Birdman made their way off station to undertake the monthly measurement of the water level at Deep Lake. Under a blue sky, on an almost windless day, the trio drove quads north along the coastline turning in towards Long Fjord past Weddell arm, not far from which sat posing some newly arrived Weddell seals (the first of the season). Parking the quads, the team made their way by foot the remaining distance where Sealy captured some brilliant shots of the landscape.
Since the current Davis wintering expeditioners arrived on V1 (voyage one) in November last year, there has been a dedicated group of Mahjong players who have gathered every week to play and make ‘Mahjong Monday’ a highlight of their week. Virtual fortunes have been won and lost and then won again. Oh the fickle way of the tiles!
There are many superstitions associated with the game of Mahjong. For example, players will try to find seats with the best Feng Shui or wear their lucky clothing or trinkets. For the casual outside observer there does seem to be a lot of tapping of tiles and secret murmurings, and strange names. Some superstitious rituals in Mahjong can involve things from not counting one’s wins and losses, to changing one’s underwear after a loss. We are unsure whether any of these are in place with our little group but there is always an air of strange mystery as they huddle together and converse in their own secret language.
Last weekend the ‘Mahjong Monday’ boys ventured out into the wilds of the Vestfold Hills to Watts Hut at the end of Ellis Fjord for an entire weekend of uninterrupted play under the watchful eye of Dr Jan who made sure that they remembered to stop for meals, go outside for some fresh air occasionally and didn’t stay up too late. They even managed to invent a new form of extreme outdoor Antarctic Mahjong (down jackets and beanies required).
Wandering through the living quarters last Saturday afternoon, one with any sense of smell couldn’t help but notice the unmistakable aromas of mead and roast lamb. And if your sense of smell failed you, well there was always the vision of a castle keep and a dozen expeditioners standing around the bar carrying swords, shields, helmets and hessian footwear to tell you that yes, the much anticipated ‘Davis Medieval Night’ had arrived.
The co-organisers Marc M and Alex R don’t do such things by halves and in fact, one of Marc’s favourite sayings is “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing”. Yet there was nothing overdone about the lamb, roasted on a spit under the living quarters balcony and destined to become the centrepiece of the long table, otherwise filled with an array of classics fit for a king including “Should you be riding home after this mushroom and port pie?” and freshly baked breads.
Some initial apprehension that this could turn into a ‘Red Wedding’ situation were quickly muted by the great company and dining, all against projected images of a live fireplace and the finest medieval battle scenes known to man. The lads did us all proud and a great ‘knight’ was had by all.
We had a special guest at Davis this week: Cammy Can, sent down by her Aunt in the Bureau of Meteorology. Cammy, age six, lives in Chicago, USA. She has Rett Syndrome and is confined to a wheelchair. Cammy Can, Cammy’s cartoon image, travels all over the world having adventures for her.
This week Cammy Can looked around Davis station, posed for her picture with the Davis signpost, helped with the weather observations and watched Horse move snow. Cammy Can also headed out to Watts hut with the Mahjong Monday team and saw some spectacular scenery. This morning, after an overnight blizzard, Cammy Can played in the snow.