A mere fourteen days in October 2019 were all it took for the RSV Aurora Australis to safely carry the incoming Davis expeditioners on Voyage 1 roughly 5000 miles across the Southern Ocean, but for those on board, their memories of the AA’s famous warmth and hospitality will never fade.
Last Sunday, the 50-something strong summering crew departed Davis, leaving the 24 winterers to contemplate their new-found solitude as the ship set sail for the icebergs beyond station, quite possibly for the very last time with the advent of the RSV Nuyina.
For some, their voyage south was their first and the ship’s finale was of little consequence. For some of the other recidivists, the familiar sight of the AA’s stern seemed lonelier as it headed into the yellow sunset dwarfed by nearby icebergs, heralding the end of an era.
As we settle into our new home for the next nine or so months, we have plenty of time to ponder and speculate on the vessel that will eventually bring us home; some would prefer to fly, others have their hearts set on returning via the Nuyina, but I think there are quite a few that secretly harbour a desire to have one last trip on the Aurora Australis.