It isn’t all work on the icy continent…

Behind the scenes

I often get asked ‘what do you get up to when you are on station and not working?'. What is there to do and keep you occupied? Well one thing is for sure I have never been bored and never really had to find something to do, it all just happens and next thing you know another week is done and dusted! 

What I find amusing is the range of emotions that come out in people from some of these activities, mostly due to a fearsome amount of competition!

Excluding off station adventures and science support, here are some of the things that keep us entertained, busy, frustrated, happy, excited, annoyed, bitter and amused!

Darts: Nick and Simon most frequently are found after dinner, dueling it out. The profanities heard from the rest of the Living Quarters is proof that a fearsome ultra-competitive fight to the end is going down! Kieran, Joe, Choots and Dev often join in for doubles competition.

The Climbing Wall: Joe, Dan and I have spent many an afternoon after work pushing each other up every different route imaginable. Even the coldest of afternoons has not stopped us from inventing some sort of new rule or challenge to make it up the wall. It normally starts with “bet you can’t do that” or “you're a hopeless wimp”.

The Gym: One thing is for sure down here, there is no excuse for not going to the gym! Blizzards have not stopped us! It’s a great atmosphere in there. We all take turns at playing the music and everyone has a different routine. McGiver does cardio in the morning and weights at night. Glenn normally does some sort of ridiculous routine of 500 push ups and 300 kettle bell swings. Joe, Dan, Choots and I do a little bit of everything. Joe often gets into the gymnastics on a set of rings he brought down as well. This brings me to Simon…Simon does a bit of everything too, but quite often walks into the gym and says to me “Hey Ryno, what about this one, we do 10 sets of dead lifts, bench presses and row 500m every set as well?” You think I am going to say, “I’ll pass on that Simon”. Hell no, challenge accepted! The next two days can be quite painful!

Board Games: The board game crew normally consists of Matt, Liam, Amy, Joe and myself. It has been a good laugh and relaxing time usually with a few drinks after dinner. Still competitive though, like everything else here! Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and Pandemic have been favourites with Matt keeping score on apps on his phone. Trust Matt to have an app to keep track of board game results, statistics and highest scores!

Photography: Everyone has a go and clicks off a beauty every now and then but the real stars are Brownie and Greg. Greg has a zoom lens you could spot aliens on Mars with, and Brownie knows every trick and function the most complex of cameras is capable of to capture some amazing scenery and auroras. 

Cinema: Another one we all enjoy. You’ll find Luke and Dane watching a zombie apocalypse or cult classic nobody has heard of and there is a usual crew that frequent with a nightly episode of a TV series. Brownie likes to hook up the PS4 in there as well and shoot stuff!

The Bar: Dev likes to make beer, drink beer and talk about beer. And watch YouTube! Mike will often relax with a beer as well, and listen to Luke and Dane’s stories. Dane will research what car parts to buy and what he is going to do with cars when he gets home. That is normally accompanied by a hilarious story about a car! Lukey will then top Dane’s story with something even more hilarious!

Study: It’s nice to see some of our crew are undertaking degrees and extracurricular assignments while down south and showing tremendous dedication. Glenn is studying to be a paramedic. He will make a great hanging out of a helicopter type rescue dude! Choots is studying a Bachelor of Aviation. Dr Meg has been kept busy managing her charity Sportula Microgrants which helps medical students in Tasmania and also finishing a Graduate Certificate in Remote Health and starting her Masters of Health Management.

Music: Back in Hobart during training I caught Dan walking back to the hotel with a brand new acoustic guitar. “You brought a guitar Dan?” “Yeah mate, I am going to learn guitar while down south” “Cool man!” Only nine months later and he’s like the ghost of Hendrix! Glenn and Mike will often be seen in the music room as well. Glenn normally plays the drums but has been practicing guitar lately and Mike has been practicing bass. 

Last but not least table tennis: Right now Joe is leading Ryan about 65 games to 50 in the Davis winter championship, so I have some work to do! 

 Ryno, Davis Winter Electrician