This week we find out what the problem was with the washing machine, Dr John opens up his theatre and Daz tests out his sleeping bag with an overnight stay in a snow cave he made.

Lucky find

Recently I was called to the SMQ laundry to have a look at a faulty washing machine.

The bottom cover was removed to gain access to the pump. The pump filter was removed and, to my surprise, it contained two coins.

One was an Australian dollar coin, the other was a 500 pesos coin from Chile.

You never know what’s going to turn up… even in Antarctica.

Paul Deverall

Squeezer goes to theatre

Last Friday, Dr John decided to open up his theatre to all of us expeditioners to show us the lighter side of the way the theatre works. Thanks to our ‘theatrical’ doctor it was a hands on experience for all, which included lessons on: how to stitch a wound correctly, how to administer an intravenous drip and how to monitor and care for a patient, that could turn out to be one of your friends as well.

Was a great time had by all with the exception of Dr John who then had to scrub the theatre clean from top to bottom, taking him many hours.


Daz’s night out

Even though the Australian Antarctic Division fully kits expeditioners out with all the cold weather gear we could possibly need, some still bring their own personal gear down. One of our resident plumbers Darren, aka Daz, brought down his own bivy bag and sleeping bag.

Curious to test his sleeping gear in Antarctic conditions, Daz challenged himself to sleep outside in it one night. To make things even more interesting he decided not to sleep in a tent or under the stars but in a cave.

Caves are rare at Davis station but this wasn’t going to stop Daz, he just simply made his own. Taking advantage of the bliz tail downwind from the living quarters, Daz found himself a shovel and put it to good use. He slept one night in his bliz tail cave on a −25°C degree night.

The next morning he said he could feel the cold coming up from beneath him despite laying on a self-inflating mat and a sheep skin rug. He was warm on top though.

For Daz’s next challenge he intends sleeping in his sleeping bag in his bivy bag in a bath tub full of water. He said because his bivy bag is made of Gortex and therefore waterproof ‘it will be just like sleeping on a water bed'.

Craig Butsch