Well, as I write this it has been 260 days since I first stepped onto the continent after being flown in by helicopter from the Aurora Australis, after a couple weeks at sea, landing at Davis station, the place I would call home for the next 12 months…or so I thought. COVID-19 had other plans and our 12 months here has been extended by a few months so we aren’t expected to be home until sometime in March. There are worse places to be stuck in the world and I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love to be in our position with the current situation back home.
I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences here so far: helicopter flights over the Vestfold Hills to the skiway up on the plateau, where you really get a perspective of how vast the ice sheet is; boat trips out amongst the monolithic icebergs; amazing Auroras dancing between us and the stars; 24 hour daylight in summer and almost complete darkness in the middle of winter; and seeing the first massive icebergs when sailing down, which brought an excitement through the ship especially for us first-timers.
Our chef, Donna, is ridiculously amazing and we have been joking about how we are going to adjust to not having her cooking tasty dishes for us when we get home. Some of us (me) have some work to do to work off the Antarctic insulation we’ve grown around our (my) midsection.
One of our mechanics, Dylan, has taken up the role of Barber on station, which he has aptly named “average cuts”. Despite his amazingly putrid mullets he’s offering, I haven’t had a haircut or shaved since we’ve been here. I have now got a couple of funny nicknames, Charles Manson being one, my favourite though is “Costa,” after Costa Georgiadis the gardening TV show presenter.
We are now getting more daylight returning each day, after roughly 6 weeks of it hiding behind the horizon. With 220-ish days left, I’m sure there’ll be plenty more amazing and challenging experiences to be had.
As the saying goes “a picture says a thousand words,” here’s some photos I have taken so far.
Cam, Station Mechanical Supervisor