When you sign up for the role of an Australian Antarctic Program Expeditioner, you know the role will be challenging, difficult and a test of your resilience. For the team at Davis, it has been 364 days since we departed Australia and of those days, we will always remember the 15 days (over a 22 day period) we spent pumping water into the station tarn. Despite some setbacks along the way, with a few blizzards and some equipment issues, we finally reached the level required to officially declare the tarn as full.
How did we test?? Well, following a great Australian tradition, we dug a hole. A hole was dug through the ice near the bank of the tarn and at the high water line. Thankfully, the hole filled with water to the appropriate level and after a official survey by the trades manager, Des, we ceased pumping at 1400h on Tuesday 20 October after a total of 144 hours and countless gigalitres.
Relief all round, with a good crowd around the bar enjoying a beer, then a long weekend to mark the end of winter operations for the team, and reset before the summer season begins. Ordinarily at Davis we'd be gearing up to receive the first flights of the season and a resupply vessel in the coming weeks, but not in 2020. We now embark upon a unique experience in modern Davis history. We will have just 24 expeditioners on station over the summer season as we take the time to enjoy the longer days, better weather and return of wildlife to the hills.
Coming up next week... seals, penguins and field trips!