This week has seen a continuation of station handover; albeit in a staccato fashion. Familiarisation for the incoming team continued on all of the equipment, systems, acronyms and procedures required to keep everyone safe and the station operating. By week's end the outgoing team were putting final touches on reports covering the past year and the new arrivals had their heads and notebooks full.
Saturday morning saw the ceremonial handing over of the 'Keys to the Station' from Station Leader Esther to Station Leader Dani. The auspicious occasion was marked by a wonderful brunch prepared by Jordan and Hermann and winds gusting to 60kts. By day's end a little more height was added to the blizztails around the station.
Marginal weather conditions have made flying challenging over the past week or so. Like the wheels on a crooked poker machine, conditions at Casey, Davis and Mawson have refused to line up. Just when the Casey stop-over for half of the incoming Davis wintering team threatened to extend to a second week (and another load of washing), a weather window emerged. Taking full advantage, the Davis team was finally boosted on Wednesday with the arrival of a full plane load from Casey.
Unfortunately the weather window shut down as quickly as it opened, and for the departing wintering team, it meant the farewells were short lived and it was back to the Summer Accommodation Module (SAM) with bags, survival gear and thoughts of what could have been. Thursday sees two aircraft parked 'out the front' poised to depart east and west as soon as the weather allows.
While handovers have been underway, a hive of activity continues around Davis. Projects have been busy packing up equipment; ten ISO containers worth being prepared for eventual transport back to Canada. Science work has continued, with Ladge making the familiar weekly journey onto the sea ice to take measurements, now with new helpers to assist. Helen has continued her monitoring work for DAP, with water table measurements and wildlife surveys around station. The Air Ground Support Officers have been kept busy, not just tending to the skiway and supporting the Kenn Borek crew, but also setting up camera and sound recorders at Gardner Island to monitor nesting penguins during aircraft operations.
On the social front, the dart board has seen some early season form on display. Talk has quickly turned to what font should be used to engrave "Davis Station Champions" on the inter station darts trophy....