Some people dream of coming to Antarctica and others wonder why you would want to go somewhere so cold

The Polariser

I have only met two types of people in regards to my expeditions South. One is "Wow, you are so lucky I wish I could do that and how can I get job like that"? The other is "why in the hell would you want to go there its so cold".

To the latter where do I start?

You get a 6 to 12 month paid adventure holiday and get to travel to the world's most isolated place. You start with lots of preparation from home. What on earth do I take, packing and repacking - have I got it all? Arriving in Tassie, meeting all the new faces and different routines to learn and mountains of extra gear supplied by the AAD (will I need all this gear?). The excitement and trepidation of what is coming next, sailing over 5000 km on an ice breaker across the Southern Ocean, will it make me seasick? I really don’t want that. Sailing day arrives and the angst is high. What the hell am I doing and am I certain I’m doing the right thing? There’s no coming back for six months. Too late, I’m on the ship and heading out to sea and hoping for fair seas. I take a few days to settle in and get my sea legs. I like ship life, it's good and the food is fantastic. A week later you come to realise just how big this ocean is. Eleven days out and it's iceberg ahoy, you can never have enough iceberg photos. Day 13 and we’re almost there with just 15 km to go and the ice is 1.5 m thick, it's slow going. The Aurora Australis charges, then backs up and charges again for the next day and night. Morning comes and it's a helo (helicopter) flight to Davis station, I think I like helos.

Wow, I'm in Antarctica at Davis station and I get a tour around the station by one of the old crew (burnt out winterer who they say might go troppo if I say or do something wrong). Anyway, I managed to survive the tour and we are straight into the resupply at Davis, ten days of unloading the ship of food fuel and supplies. My first job was to jump in that truck and head out onto the ice to pick up a load from the ship. Wow, I’m driving on sea ice! My sons will be jealous and as I'm waiting for my first load an emperor penguin walks up to check me out - wow! I mean less than 2 metres away and this is so cool. I pick up my load and head back to station with a quick stop for a selfie in front of the ship.

Resupply is over and the ship is gone. I'm stuck now, not much else to do than settle into station life and work. It is not too arduous and there’s free drinks and good food.

I'm hearing the word Jolly. What the hell is a Jolly I ask? Trips off station to field huts and if you can manage to line it up with a helo all the better. So several jollys later and a lot more walking and rocks than I could have ever anticipated but I got to see a fair bit of the Vestfold Hills.

Station life - there seems to be something going on most weekends including fancy dress nights and casino nights. Christmas, New Year and the food didn’t stop coming followed by a few slow mornings.

I could waffle on a lot more but I think you get the idea.

And the case for the fore mention: Its Antarctica!

Bob is back at Davis for his 2nd expedition this year so would be fair to say he enjoys life here - Station Leader