After a relative smooth and pleasant journey for most on board, the Aurora Australis met the Davis fast ice edge with a typical cacophony of metal-on-ice crunching, eliciting the sightseeing interests of even the most seasoned and nonchalant expeditioners on board.
Voyage 1’s presence in front of Davis station signals a changing of the guard. As one group of weary expeditioners prepare to make the journey home, another, much larger group prepares to settle in for the next 4 — 18 months. But first comes resupply.
After station inductions and safety briefings, further briefings and briefing briefings, the dance commenced in choreographed flurries of high-vis clothing.
Cargo operations lead the charge after some excellent work by the station diesel mechanics to repair the Mack truck, vital to efficient discharge of some 440 tonnes of cargo from the ship.
Refuelling the station followed with around 746,000 litres of Special Antarctic Blend fuel delivered via a fuel hose of around 1.5km in length. 24-hour crews monitored the entirety of the fuel line throughout, ensuring the operation went off without any personal safety or environmental hitches.
The arrival to and departure of fixed wing aircraft from Davis has been another factor thrown into the bustle of resupply. Aviation operations in Antarctica rely on periods of good weather and meteorologists from the Bureau of Meteorology’s Davis, Casey and Hobart offices are critical resources in providing the accurate weather forecasts and observations to ensure flight safety.