Well, the clouds have parted and let the sun shine in. This week, Davis station firmly re-established itself as the ‘Riviera of the South’ and in both work and play, the crew made the most of the good weather whilst it lasts. Our greetings to all of you at home. Thanks for tuning in once again.


Works around station this week have seen the electricians getting about a bit. Aaron has been working on installing some power meters in ring main unit number six’s switchboard. He’s also been down in the basement of the living quarters moving a switchboard on the sewerage tank, in preparation for the installation of a new grease trap as part of the works for the new waste water treatment plant. Kevin and Geoff were found today working on replacing light fixtures in the living quarters.

As we're coming towards the end of our winter, we are starting to get low on some of our food stocks. Chef Dami has devised a unique way of testing which eggs are still good. The amount and quality of food produced by Dami has surpassed our expectations. So much so that in the perpetual ‘Doctor vs Chef’ battle our medical professional has been seen in a state of great despair monthly since we arrived.

A weekend at Brookes Hut

Dr Jan tells us the story of her weekend at Brookes:

“Last weekend saw Davis blessed with clear blue skies that made getting off station an offer too good to refuse. The resident old married couple, Geoff and I, decided we should take the opportunity and head out for a bit of peace and quiet, and leave the youngsters at station behind to do whatever young people do for entertainment these days.

The weekend was spent in quiet pursuits of reading, knitting and snoozing. Fine Tasmanian sparkling was enjoyed on the deck with a million dollar view. But it wasn’t all rest and recreation. After all, we are here for peace and science, so a local recce (exploratory walk) was undertaken to find evidence of any pupping Weddell seals (sadly zero) and a visit to Deep Lake to take water level and snow observations.

Well rested, we returned to station and found that the kitchen hadn’t burned down, but the cat was nowhere to be seen.”

Two men and their quads

Aaron and Alex embarked on a beautiful Saturday morning for a two man quad bike tour of the ‘Riviera of the South', the Vestfold Hills. With only two days to explore the plan was to hit all the ‘hot spots’ they could manage. After a brief pit stop at Watts hut to drop off that evening’s supplies, they continued onwards to Boulder Hill.

A fantastic 150 metre climb past frozen waterfalls, ancient boulders and huge blizz-tails brought them to the peak. The view was staggering, with the Sørsdal glacier to the south and the Vestfolds spread before them to the north. The frozen lakes awaited and thus it was time to descend from the heavens.

The afternoon was a feast of exploration around frozen freshwater lakes, small islands and rock wall canyons. Exhausted, the quad tour arrived at Watts for a well deserved dinner and rest. Midnight rolled around and presented us with an aurora spectacular over lake Druzhby, which demanded some on-ice photography.

Sunday’s mission was a morning skate on the ice, to be followed by a climb up to the Trajer Ridge melon. A brisk wind was against us on the way up the hill, but fortunately it left us for the return journey. The afternoon saw a meandering ride back through the Ellis Fjord, with the two man team returning to station for dinner.

An excellent trip all round and one we will never forget. ​

Aaron and Alex 

Doc’s Dozen

Doc’s Dozen (plus a couple more) with Ducky (aka by his Mum as Shaun), Projects Plumber, Co-fire Chief, Co-proprietor of the Duck Cox Barber Shop

Is this your first trip to Antarctica Ducky? What brings you here?

Yes, first trip south and was lucky enough to get a winter at Davis. Well, I had a TAFE teacher when I was an apprentice that had been here and I always thought that it would be pretty amazing to do and I completely forgot about it until last year — by chance I saw the applications open and thought why not try, you never know.

Ducky what is it like being a plumber here?

It’s pretty fun, I must say I enjoy the variety of work that we do here. There’s things that you wouldn’t encounter back in the real world like repairing leaking site service pipes in −30ºC.

Doc: You can keep that job all for yourself there Ducky.

If not a plumber what job would you do?

Well I've always dreamt of being a career fire fighter. I think they are some of the bravest people in the world. But if not, possibly be a butcher running my own little shop.

Doc: Well you are a fire chief here so you are half way there. It is tough training though I hear, you know, having to deal with difficult and demanding medical people sometimes.

Best gig as a plumber Ducky?

Um, well back home it would be the variety of people you meet and wide range of different jobs, oh and of course getting to work outside! Down here it would have to be field hut maintenance!

Ducky, I have to admit that I sometimes forget what your real name is. How long have you been Ducky and how did it come about?

Ha ha! I knew this question would pop up somewhere. I've been known as Ducky since I was about 15 and I rarely get called Shaun, and if I do I automatically think I’m in trouble. Unfortunately I cannot remember the origins, but I’m sure a few of my mates back home would be happy to make up a story for you.

Best experience in Antarctica?

Ah, a tough one. I have two. The first, I was lucky enough to go on a five day walk around the Vestfolds with two other expeditioners in the summer. The views between Platcha hut and Trajer Ridge were extraordinary. The other was another lucky moment in which I was part of a flight to do some hut maintenance and cargo retrieval from Beaver Lake which is in the deep field. We flew in the Basler and saw the amazing coastline of Antarctica and the Amery Ice Shelf.

What do you love about Antarctica now that you are here?

The scenery, landscape, wildlife, the unpredictable weather and the feeling you get knowing you’re one of the lucky few who get to enjoy this incredible place.

Doc: Yes Ducky, we are very lucky indeed.

Who inspires you?

My Mum. She made a lot of sacrifices raising us and made me the man I am today. I’ll never really know how to make it up to her, but one day I will.

Ducky, what have you learned living in our little community here at Davis?

Patience, the walls are thin and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Doc: Everyone says that you have to be patient here. Are we waiting for the bus or something?

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

Um, something with a siren, I guess maybe an ice-cream truck. You can hear it from miles away and you’re never really sure how close or if it’s coming your way.

Doc: Fantastic! And of course everyone loves to run out and pick their favourite flavour.

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

Anything! I've famously arrived at Davis with three t-shirts and a pair of pants, and had to get a lot shipped on V3. But I think the thing that’s come most handy is my Leatherman.

Doc: Yes the Leathermans are very popular and thank goodness for Brendan’s underwear Emporium for the little necessities of life.

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

I’m not really sure on a single particular person, but it would be fun to be a famous extra, like one of those guys you always seeing in shows or things like that but has no lines and people don’t know your name but they refer to you as that guy that’s in everything.

Doc: Ducky with your encyclopaedic knowledge of movies, I am sure there is not an actor in Hollywood that you could not name.

I think it is fair to say that you have been the face of ‘This week at Davis’ over the season. Has it led to any media offers or fan attention?

Haha! Oh yes, I’m ready to quit the plumbing gig and join show business. Not really. I think it’s a game of who you know when it comes to station news and of course, giving the people what they want, ha ha!

What is in store when you return to home?

Hopefully not repairing things at my house. Catching up with friends and family. I've missed a couple weddings and my sister had a little girl who I've never met, so making up for some lost time I guess.

Doc: Ducky, it has been a pleasure to peep inside your world. Thank you for your insights. I am also very happy to be able to offer you a free, no-expense-spared salon visit to Wallace, Wallace and Wallace where we can look after that little duck tail with the care and expertise it deserves.

The southernmost Hawks supporter

Journalistic ethics compel us to be careful about making grand statements with limited evidence but, we are fairly sure we can say with near certainty that Davis is home to the southernmost Hawthorn Football Club fan in the world: Mr W Seal of ‘team dieso’ fame.

Last Saturday, Mr Seal enjoyed front row seats at a delayed telecast of the AFL grand final. Not wanting to spoil the suspense of the match, his fellow expeditioners tiptoed around exchanging knowing glances re: the score. Not Mr Seal, who, resplendent in his Hawks paraphernalia (including 2015 membership scarf) elected to remain in the dark, thereby only enhancing the emotional pay-off of a glorious Hawthorn victory over the West Coast Eagles, 107–61.