At Davis we celebrated with cakes galore, climbed a mast to check the anemometer, and erected an automatic weather station in Heidemann Valley.

Heidemann Valley AWS installation

One of the projects we support here at Davis had a requirement to install an automatic weather station (AWS) at Heidemann Valley. The AWS was relocated from Mawson over the summer season and erected last week.

It was a team effort to move the mast and all equipment to the site, install and then commission the station. Securing the mast base took longer than expected as low temperatures impacted the cure time for anchoring material.

The AWS will measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature at heights of one metre, two metres and four metres above ground together with barometric pressure, solar radiation, snow depth and GPS positioning. A communications link from the AWS data-logger back to Davis station will enable remote, real-time monitoring and data collection of the above information.

Dave Davies 

Anemometer calibration

Last Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology’s anemometer at Davis was calibrated. This is performed twice a year to ensure the wind is actually coming from the direction it is reported to be coming from and the wind speed is accurate.

Aaron Stanley is the meteorology technician (met tech) who was responsible for performing the calibration and he received a helping hand from Dave Davies, the station’s communications technical officer. The job involved Aaron climbing ten metres to the top of the anemometer mast, a feat by no means easy for a man scared of heights. Aaron’s been scared of heights since he was six months old when he fell three feet out of his high chair. But on the day he rose to the challenge, pushed his fears aside and climbed that ten metre mast like a champion!

The calibration was a success and the Davis expeditioners can now sleep well at night knowing their wind data is accurate. Aaron now has his sights set on climbing Mt Everest but I think he’s being a little too ambitious. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high though.

Craig Butsch

Special cake for a special day

So the tasks of an Antarctic chef in the kitchen are of a broad range to say the least. We dabble in the baker’s world of breads, the pastry chef’s world of pastries and fine desserts, as well as cooking a wide variety of smoko, lunches and dinners.

One of the exciting happenings on station that all expeditioners look forward to are birthdays, because they get to eat cake. Some birthdays are slightly more memorable than others and I guess they are what we call milestones. This week we celebrated a 60th birthday no less and that calls for a special occasion, even on a school night.

So I decided to make a very special cake for this occasion, Dave’s 60th birthday. The cake is known as a ‘Dobos torte’ originating in Hungary in 1885. The cake is named after the pastry chef who created it, Jozsef Dobos. The success of this cake was Dobos’ invention of butter cream. The really striking garnish to this cake is caramel coated hazelnuts which add an extra dimension to this famous European layered cake.

Clean plates — must’ve been ok.

Lesley Eccles 

Aaron’s birthday

Last Friday it was Aaron’s birthday and of course we were there to celebrate his big day and help him eat cake.

His cake — a delicious Neapolitan-like triple layered, sponge-finger lined and chocolate topped delight — was comprised of chocolate ice cream with crushed chocolate ripple biscuits stirred in, strawberry ice cream with real chopped up frozen strawberries added, and finally smooth vanilla ice cream with honeycomb (or as it is known to us Kiwis, hokey pokey). 

Actually, Aaron’s cake was so large it is still going. Luckily with an ice-cream cake you can just put it back in the freezer for another day!

Lesley Eccles