A last minute call for a mechanic turns into an amazing six weeks on station for Rob

Anything can happen

So what started out as a refuelling trip to supply Davis station with nearly 1 million litres of SAB diesel turned into a short summer stay to help out the dieso’s in the workshop!

My name is Rob McLaren and I was initially employed as an assistant refueller under Bloo Campbell. We sailed out of Hobart on the American icebreaker Aiviq in late December to deliver much-needed fuel to Davis station. En route there was a call out for anyone in a position to take up a dieso role at the station for the remainder of the summer. Being a small engines mechanic by trade put me in the ball park.

Upon arrival at Davis we delivered approx. 970,000 litres of SAB diesel to the fuel farm at Davis and once done I was helicoptered to station to start my new role.

It has been an amazing six weeks as the team at Davis took me in and showed me the ropes. From survival training to Slushy (kitchen hand), movies in the theatre to Blizz runs if you don’t score in Darts.

On the work front I was lucky to have Stu and Codey to run me over the operations. The main power house has been the main focus. Looking after four large generators with “Obs” being done four times a day; oil levels, fuel consumption, regular servicing and other info gathered to keep the station power supply running smoothly.

In the workshop I got to work on a wide variety of gear from Hägglunds, excavators and utes to small generators, all from regular services to some fault finding and repairs.

During time off from the tools, the wildlife and scenery have been an amazing part of the adventure.

An inland salt lake situated 51 metres below sea level!

An evening in a small boat to the Sørsdal Glacier and some penguin colonies!

A day off station checking out the movements of elephant seals!

A walk with mates and a stay at one of the huts on the ice shelf for a night!

A pod of Orca’s in the bay at the station! And so much more.

The whole adventure has been topped off by the people I have met. Everyday people from all over Australia and New Zealand with a great sense of adventure.

I’ll be heading home on Nuyina in a couple of days (editor: Rob left station on 28 February) and am already looking forward to coming back. In the meantime I wish the team at Davis the very best for their winter.

Cheers, Rob McLaren