Aaron tries to capture winter, Scott shows what a team effort can accomplish, and Chris explains that Mawson’s gain was our gain also.

Winter images

It’s starting to feel like winter is setting in. There are two main seasons here: summer and winter. And it’s cold all the time!

With that said it was about time that the lounge chair on the balcony got some usage. It was really nice to close my eyes and imagine sun baking somewhere on a tropical island listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, to be rudely interrupted by my face starting to freeze off and realizing it was only −14°C. The sun was behind a thick layer of cloud, and the sea was frozen over. It’s nice to dream now and then.

As usual the weather has been a mixed bag. With temperatures as warm as −8°C, usually occurring when the snow falls and there is some wind. Also as cold as −26.3°C when the skies are clear and there is no wind.

Photography is a passion of mine and I’ve been waiting patiently for a few photos that I would love to capture. I've been following the moon phases and on the 22nd of April during the full moon I was able to capture the moments when the moon set over the frozen Prydz Bay and the amazing iceberg sculptures. Here the moon looks like a fireball erupting on the horizon. I am happy that the weather played its part providing a relatively clear sky.

Once again the Aurora Australis has been very active. Watching the gauges that assist in predicting auroras one particular night caught us by surprise. This was the second time that evening I got a knock on my window to alert me of an aurora. Heading away from the station light pollution I took a time lapse of the moon rising over the plateau with the aurora dancing in the night skies overhead.

One of the other photos I’ve wanted to take is the sun behind the crosses on Anchorage Island. These three crosses are in remembrance of three expeditioners who passed away at Davis station: Stephen Bunning, Martin Davies and Peter Orbansen — soon to be four crosses with the passing of David Wood this season. Unfortunately it was snowing and clouded in a few days ago when I wanted to take the photo and when the sun was due to be directly behind the crosses.

However, a couple of days later, I was provided a glimmer of hope a few minutes before the sun dipped below the horizon. Patiently waiting, the sun showed through a gap in the clouds and with all the ice crystals in the air it created a light pillar which rose directly above the crosses, complete with another phenomena called sundogs or parhelia (not shown in photos).

Not only was it satisfying to capture this moment in time, but was great to also take a few moments out to remember those four expeditioners.

Aaron Stanley

Tank cleaning, a team effort

The potable water tanks are an integral part of the Davis potable water system. They are located in the building known as the tank house, where they distribute all potable water needs via pumps and site services pipelines.

Handling so much water, approx. one million litres annually, they do need to be cleaned regularly. That’s where the winter plumber team of Dazza and Scott come in, along with the help of our one and only storeperson/Jack of all trades, the mighty Jen, and from team Dieso, the big fella Goldie.

It took around a week to complete a full clean of one of four tanks, which consisted of emptying, pressure washing and finally vacuuming all debris from the tank whilst negotiating a myriad of stainless steel rods which is now known as ‘the Matrix'. A well-earned drink was had by all parties, looking forward to the next tank.

A special thanks to Jen and Goldie for their efforts.

No, thank you!

You may have read a few weeks ago Mawson said thank you to Davis for giving them Craig and our cheese.

What you may not have realized was that we secretly had a wealth of multi-skilled, multi-trades people coming in with them on the Hercules and that the cheese had actually been recalled.

We got a lady named Ali which to our gain is a factory trained Honda generator specialist. She was right at home doing the annual services on the stations fleet of small generators getting them ready for winter where they are used for various applications around station from powering field huts to warming up a cold Hägglunds so it will start. She is also a wiz in the kitchen cooking up a mean feed.

There was also a lady named Jen, who is a cat power generation specialist who is right at home working on our power house engines, which are our primary source of power to run the station. She is also an all-rounder from cleaning tanks to running our green store — she takes it all in her stride.

We also got this bloke named Goldie. You may know him as a plant operator but if you can kick him out of the loader for long enough and get him into the kitchen, you have one mean baker. From ham and cheese bread twists to chocolate scrolls, you're always in for a tasty treat when Goldie is in the kitchen.

We may have lost one fine dieso (diesel mechanic) to Mawson but we gained three much loved people to our winter crew.  So thank you Mawson for bringing them down with you.