This week at Davis: 10 January 2020

An engineering services supervisor’s take on reverse-osmosis units, penguin visitors and field trips in the hills.

Engineering Services Supervisor Pete shares his recent experiences from work and the field

Happy new year from Davis Station! We’ve enjoyed the couple of days rest over the festive period and are now ticking along nicely into the new year. Weekend trips are becoming more and more popular, with at least three parties going out to Brookes and Watts Hut over the weekend. There were plenty of day trips heading out too — maybe it’s got something to do with new year’s resolutions. A small group of us went out to Tarbuk Crag for the day. We celebrated making it to the summit with leftover Christmas cake (thanks Chefs!). The weather was good enough for us to be in t-shirts, with great views of the open ocean, and Antarctic plateau. Even the wind speed measurement doohickey on the automatic weather station stopped spinning at times.

We’ve also started setting up the reverse osmosis machine to make enough water for the year. The tarn lake has defrosted, the pontoons and pump have been lowered, and the boiler and membranes have been cleaned. All we need to do is simply press the start button.

The sea ice is slowly melting away and the wildlife is starting to come in on station. Those of us who go for the short walk to Marchant’s Landing would be greeted by two loudly snoring elephant seals, gently reminding us how good life is out here. And then there’s the waddle of Adélie penguins (scientist note: yup that’s the collective noun for Adélies, but only when they’re on land, and away from their nests) marching through the station.

Peter Luk — Maintenance Engineering Services Supervisor

Three men sitting on rock summit
A t-shirt day on top of Tarbuck Crag with Angus, Pete, Jason and the remote weather station. That’s the Antarctic Plateau on the horizon on the left, and open ocean on the right.
(Photo: Peter Luk)
A large mobile crane holds a pontoon in place as it floats on the grey tarn.
Wayne and Cliffy assembling the pontoons, ready for pumping water into the reverse osmosis plant.
(Photo: Peter Luk)
A large group of Adélie penguins waddles through station
Surprise station inspection by a waddle of Adélie penguins.
(Photo: Mike Smith)
Two women photograph a group of penguins
Cath & Paula enjoying a 360 degree view of visitors at the beach.
(Photo: Peter Luk)