At Davis this week we have an art installation composed of frozen pants, trips to Platcha and Brookes, and another birthday celebration.

Icy trews

Several pairs of denim pants, with nobody inside ’em!

Tina and Graham did this ninja 3D art display recently entitled ‘Morning After Chill’. Basically they froze their trousers as if they were being worn. Apparently the pair sitting on the bench were the most difficult to sculpt, with creative use of balloons and PVC piping doing the trick.

Tina snuck out before anybody was around to set them up at 0530 am.

(If you don’t recognize the literary reference, you need to read ‘What was I scared of?’ by Dr Seuss.)

Working holiday

For a group of us, this was our biggest jolly of the season. Five expeditioners flew ‘First Class’ to Platcha hut, on the edge of the plateau, on Thursday 11 February: Ducky Gillies, Curly Hilder, Kirk Allison, Col ‘The Tracker’ Ford, and Neil Sheridan. February: Ducky Gillies, Curly Hilder, Kirk Allison, Col ‘The Tracker’ Ford, and Neil Sheridan.

The harsh Antarctic climate and remote wilderness of the Vestfold Hills were no match for ‘The Tracker’s’ subconscious survival skills. With his in-built compass and survival chamomile tea bags, he led us through the Vestfolds with confidence.

It was not all fun and games though. We were contracted to do some minor maintenance at Platcha hut. The faded ‘H’ on the helipad needed a lick of paint to freshen it up, and the old meteorology hut needed some of the tie-down wires repaired.

From Platcha hut we continued on Saturday on foot. Tracker, like a homing pigeon, knew these hills were no match for him and led us safely to Trajer Ridge melon. We climbed Stalker Hill on the way taking in the views all around. Navigating hills and blue ice made for an interesting day for this group of intrepid adventurers.

Our biggest day of the trip took us from Trajer Ridge hut to Crooked Lake apple via Boulder Hill, again we were spoiled with great views. This was on Sunday and after 15 kms of hiking with packs through rocky, icy, and at times soft and boggy terrain, we were rewarded with the sight of Crooked Lake apple, the smallest accommodation on our route. Built to accommodate We squashed into the hut

Our last destination after Crooked Lake apple was Watts hut, five kilometres away. This was the only day we were unlucky enough not to have sunshine, but on another note, it was pleasant to walk as snow fell around us.

We arrived at Watts around noon giving us the afternoon to take it easy before joining life back at the station the following day. After a snowy start, the skies cleared in the evening allowing us to explore a little of the local area. Not far from the hut we came upon five Weddell seals taking a break on the ice which was a nice treat to finish the trip.

Our taxi was schedule for 0800 and five happy expeditioners returned to Davis.

Brookes break

Cam Lea, Dan Mizza, Bryce Daniels, Scott McMillan and Karl Bettridge trekked to Brookes hut for a two night stay. Hut maintenance checks were performed and on the second day, weather conditions were quite windy making it an easy decision to spend the day inside with books, card games, and just generally relaxing.

The survival T-bone steaks turned out tasty plus Scott and Cam created a surprise chef dessert, an apple crumble that was enjoyed by all. 

Evening conditions were superb with a sunset and then Monopoly by candlelight. Alliances were formed and broken as the night progressed. Bryce and Cam were the last two standing, with Cam taking the bragging rights of winner.

The next morning we were treated to a heli flight back to Davis station, filming great footage for Scott and Karl’s video application for ‘The Block’ television series.

BOM birthday

We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ this week for Craig, our senior observer for the winter. We were happy to help him celebrate and eat his cake.