This week at Davis we're practicing patient retrievals, experiencing more blizzards, losing darts and visiting Trajer Ridge melon.

Station update

'Riviera of the south'… not this year

Davis is touted as the ‘Riviera of the south’ as it is usually blessed by clear skies and windless days. Temps are also usually nice as all the exposed rock absorbs the heat from the sun and keeps the area close to the ground slightly warmer than the usual Antarctic temps. This year however we have had lots of cool days and endless windy ones. The season record for blizz days is 18 and we equalled this yesterday with three months left in the season.

We had lots of snow early in the season that just continually blew away from station every day after it fell leaving the familiar rocky station area. This has now changed with frequent heavy dumps accumulating around in large blizz tails off the back of buildings and large wind scours forming large drops on the upwind sides.

We have some new snow mountains forming out the back of the living quarters (LQ) and currently all-bar-one of our ground floor windows in the LQ is buried under snow. The blizz tail at the back of the LQ is in places now about mid–way up the windows and growing. As I type this we still have 40 knots of wind blowing and a forecast of a lot more snow tomorrow and the wind continuing to blow for the next few days. Guess we’ll see if the blizz reaches the second storey roof before the season ends.

Sharky (Electrician)

Search and rescue (SAR) training

At the end of last week we had two teams conduct some patient retrieval exercises around station. This was both with and without a stretcher, using a conveniently placed snow dune (blizz tail) as a crevasse simulation. This training also formed part of our training for a larger trip we're hoping to undertake next month.

The first team, led by Marc, experienced some inclement weather during the exercise which added an element of realism and made things more difficult due to cold hands, blowing snow and noise from the wind. Sharky’s team had it easy by comparison, with fine weather for the whole day. All in all, it was a successful exercise and a good refresher of our rope skills.

Interstation darts competition

This week the interstation darts competition continued with Davis playing Mawson. While we won the first game, the other two games went Mawson’s way. It was a fun night of laughter with the Davis cheer squad attempting to distract the Mawson team and entertain themselves. They were so successful they may have also distracted the Davis team! 

Kirsten (Station Leader)

A weekend walk to Trajer Ridge melon

The time left in Antarctica for most of us wintering expeditioners is starting to fly by. The sunlight is returning, much to everyone’s happiness, and the weeks are seemingly passing by. As such, a lot of us are trying to take advantage of our time off fire team and on duty rosters and get the last bit of Vestfolds Hills exploration as we can. That led myself, Shoey, Barry B1 and Barry B2 to depart station Friday afternoon and head to Watts Hut for the weekend.

Whilst the weather conditions weren’t the most favourable, we took advantage of a decent weather window to walk up to the Trajer Ridge melon and stretch our legs on Saturday. It was a wonderful walk with a fresh breeze most of the way which cooled our beards and certainly made us feel alive. The way back, with the wind at our backs was a lot easier. All of us managed to get some more photos of the ridge line, Trajer Ridge melon and some amazing ice waves that had been carved into the ice via the strong winds.

Unfortunately, the weather never got better and our plan the following day to drive down and view the Sørsdal Glacier did not eventuate. Typical A–factor!

Bryce (Electrician)