This week saw a flurry of activity with the outgoing (75th ANARE) and incoming (76th ANARE) teams working well together to finalise the transfer of 200K litres of drinking water to station, and complete station handovers in all work areas.
An Antarctic station is like a small village and it takes many skilled people to make it work such as engineers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, chefs, supply officers, scientists, doctors, meteorologist and field training officers. Every year, at station handover, each work area familiarises the incoming team with station operations.
On Sunday 27 November the formal handover of the station keys to incoming Station Leader Karen took place. This is an important occasion for all on station and signifies the end of the season for the outgoing team and new beginnings for the incoming team.
On Monday morning, the 76th ANARE farewelled a jubilant team of outgoing expeditioners looking forward to life back home and their own new beginnings. Our Bureau of Meteorology team arranged the most glorious weather for the farewell and everyone stood on the front deck of the living quarters and waved the good ship Aiviq and its happy passengers off.
It’s practice for all new station teams to halt normal operations for a few days after handover to make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency. The team got straight to work and over the next two days set up an Incident Management Team as well as conducting a station muster, station search, Search and Rescue (SAR) exercise, and fire team training.
We all learnt a lot from these exercises and came to appreciate how many resources it takes to respond to an emergency in such an isolated location.
The team is now very much looking forward to the year ahead both for the unique work environment and challenges that brings, as well as the opportunity to explore this amazing place. To the 76th ANARE, may this year be safe, productive and filled with happy memories and enduring friendships.
To the 75th ANARE, thank you for welcoming us to Davis, for all the effort you put into preparing for our arrival and for an excellent handover. We wish you all the best in whatever the future holds.