This week, two thirds of the station head off for the weekend, we spot some much missed wildlife, and enter the 48 hour Antarctic Film Competition.

Very quiet on station

Last weekend two groups departed the station to get out of the big smoke. One group consisted of Dazza, Ali, Dr John and Ladge and they went to Bandits.  I’m not talking about their trip as I was in the other, which was Paul, Vas, Brett and myself (Goldie).

It’s been a while and getting off station was great to unwind with some different scenery. We departed the station with the least amount of people allowable to complete our fire team, which are eight people minimum. Must have been very quiet on station…

Anyway, Friday we departed to Trajer field hut. As we were travelling in a Hägg we needed to go the long way round, which involved heading up onto the plateau before descending again to the hut. The hut is on a rocky ridge at 125 metres elevation at the foot of the plateau, it is named after Frank Trajer who was a weather observer here and on the 4th November 1961 was the first person to travel there by foot.

Travel on the sea ice was smooth sailing compared to what we were confronted by on the way down to Trajer Ridge Hut. The sastrugi was the largest I’ve seen in the seven seasons I’ve done. At a height of at least 1.5 metres it made it both slow going and quite rough.

Trajer Ridge Hut is a fiberglass melon type hut and not really as well insulated as the other huts but thankfully we were going through a heat wave and the minus 8°C made the night’s sleep quite comfortable as far as the temperature was concerned. Me snoring and the wind buffeting the hut, well that’s another story why the others didn’t sleep all that well.

We waited for the sun to rise before heading off to Platcha Hut, which meant going back over that sastrugi again. Platcha Hut is 31km from Davis and the first hut there was built April–May in 1961 and was established as a remote weather station. That night we were greeted by a fantastic light show with the aurora dancing across the sky. One small problem at Platcha being at the foot of the plateau its common to get strong breezes there, so I was only able to get a couple pictures and those a little blurry due to camera shake but still it was fun freezing to take them for you.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and a much needed break but its back to the grindstone now!

Michael Goldstein

Early arrivals

At Davis station we do not expect to see any wildlife over the winter months.

Surprise, surprise, whilst out drilling the sea ice recently we spotted about 20 Adélie penguins sliding inland. They are a long way from any open water and it is far too early for nesting, most colony sites are still under deep snow. Maybe they are juveniles having a winter expedition. They haven’t been since.

Last weekend while out in the Hägg exploring Walkabout Rocks, we were delighted to meet two emperor penguins. With rich colouration and a perfect coat they had just finished moulting in the rocks below the Hubert Wilkins Cairn, and were heading back to open water (about a 50km stroll).

And then we came across a ‘Thing’ that cast its evil shadow across our path before disappearing into the yonder!

The mysteries and marvels of Antarctica.


When the Aurora Australis was grounded at Mawson station earlier in the year, the onward supply voyage to Davis station had to be cancelled. Some of our fresh food supplies were offloaded at Mawson, including our cheese!

It has become a source of good-natured rivalry.

Some recompense was made at this year’s Antarctic Film Competition. Our entry, called ‘Redemption’, portrayed a “Mission Impossible” style raid on Mawson station to successfully recover the cheese. The plot and script were carefully fashioned in a brain-storming and meltdown session cooled by an inspiring home brew. The shooting was over in four hours and the editing completed by the end of the day. 

The finished masterpiece can be viewed online.