This week at Davis we cleaned up the kitchen, opened the skiway and welcomed our first summer visitors.

Davis International and Domestic Terminal open for business

Summer is fast approaching and so is the Aurora Australis! The Davis Dieso Civil and Construction Skiway Division kicked into high gear with the construction of the Davis sea ice ski landing area last week.

The sea ice ski landing area or SLA starts as a blank slate at the end of every winter out the front of Davis station. The first step in the process is to check the location of the ski way for cracks and then drill the sea ice to make sure it is of a suitable thickness and integrity.

The area is then pegged out and the heavy equipment comes out to play. The ski way is prepared using a snow groomer which first levels out the bumps and humps in the snow on the sea ice using a drag beam towed behind like a grader. The surface is then tilled out using the snow groomer’s tiller which makes the surface of the snow a consistent density over the entire ski way.

The wind sock and the flags are then put up and you have a sea ice ski landing area ready to receive its first ski plane.

Unexpected guests

Yes, this week we welcomed our first summer visitors. We awoke on Sunday to find that a Twin Otter KCS was due to arrive later that day.

As we had just had a few days of wind, and our ninth blizzard for the winter, Paul, Chris and Goldie headed out to the only partly completed ski landing area on the sea ice in front of the station. Chris has already told that story.

In due course the crew made contact with our communications team and we headed out to the newly formed apron area to watch the plane come in. They timed it well. The two pilots and engineer, Rodney, Reagan and Eric, along with team Dieso had the plane tied down and were back up at the station in time for the evening meal with the rest of us.

The Kenn Borek Air team readied the plane on Monday then headed for Casey on Tuesday — a short visit but enough to break our winter! Bring on the Aurora Australis

Spring cleaning

Spring is in the air at Davis station, and spring cleaning has sprung into action as we ready the station for the arrival of the summer expeditioners. Rooms are being cleaned, beds made and carpets shampooed.

One major clean-up, the kitchen, involved the whole team. The entire kitchen was emptied, the ovens and equipment serviced and scrubbed, every item of kitchenware washed. The shelving and surfaces, the cupboards and cabinets, the fridges and freezers were cleared, cleansed and sanitised. The floor was scrubbed and pressure-cleaned back to its original colour.

It is as new, far too clean to cook in!