Recreation and special events are a big part of life on station. This month Marshall, our Electronics Engineer, gives a glimpse into some of the things we got up to during August.

A Busy Month at Davis

August has been busy at Davis! I Here's a little bit of everything, with lots of photos.

Multi-Venue Experience 2

This was the second Multi-Venue Experience (also known as a pub crawl) held on station. We had some amazing events. Kat, Todd and I designed an escape room where the other people on station had to solve puzzles to earn their ticket home. Tas and Dawson dug a snow cave which was really cool and surprisingly warm. We had a spit roast for dinner where there was a photo reel of funny moments during our time so far at Davis. Next was a bogan disco in the satellite communications dome, an authentic Japanese karaoke bar at the meteorology building and finally, a nightclub with strobe lights and a smoke machine in the old meteorology building.

Mid-Winter Film Festival

Davis made two films for the film festival:

Freezer Geezer - When an expeditioner is uncovered in a shipping container that's been welded shut since 1973, he goes on to cause havoc around station while trying to fit back into modern times. Dawson did a great job acting as the old expeditioner, and the production crew wouldn’t have been out of place in Hollywood.

A Message from Davis - Lethal had a great idea to do a nice little single take film where we walked through our living quarters and lip synced to Jack Willis’s “Home Soon”. We nailed it on the third attempt!

I won’t give too much away, you can see Davis’s films here

Trip to Clear Lake

When researching for our 48-hour film, we came across an old yearbook from the 1970s. The yearbook mentioned Clear Lake, which is supposedly “clear like a diamond crystal”. Keen for an adventure, Todd, Tas and I put on our packs and headed off to check it out.

In summer we went on multiple hikes to get around the Vestfold Hills, carrying our pack around over rocky and snowy terrain. Now the sea ice is thick, we can drive to most places. We realised pretty quickly how not pack-fit we were after driving everywhere for the past few months, the 2km hike through the snow at -20°C to Clear Lake was a lot tougher than it looked on the map. We walked over a nearby lake that was certainly not clear, so we asked ourselves, “I wonder if the yearbook meant the lake is clear in summer when the ice has melted?” Oh well. We arrived at Clear Lake and although it wasn’t particularly clear, it was a really nice lake. The lake was a solid blue colour with some nice cracks and air bubbles, super slippery and surrounded by some cool rocky hills. We think maybe some years it is probably much clearer, depending on the weather conditions it freezes in. Although the lake was falsely advertised, it was still definitely worth the walk!

Trip to Deep Lake, Elephant Lake and Stalker Hill

August is a great time at Davis - the sun rises and sets at a reasonable time and the sea ice is thick enough that we can explore anywhere. Ben, Kat, Kez and I headed out on a trip to Bandit’s Hut. We stopped at Deep Lake, where we measured the water as -18°C, which is the coldest temperature recorded in a long time. The lake is incredibly salty, so it is very rare that it freezes. We saw some ice (or possibly snow) on the top of the lake, which is very unusual!

We went to Elephant Lake, which actually is an amazingly clear, frozen lake. We took a drill and Tom’s LED pole in an attempt to light up the whole lake. Due to technical difficulties (flat battery) we were not completely successful, but it was still awesome to see one of the nicest lakes in the Vestfold Hills.

The next day we awoke to an amazing sunrise at Bandits Hut,and set off to climb Stalker Hill and Parker Hill. The weather was the best it's been in about a month, about -15°C with very little wind. The sun is also in a great position at this time of year during the day, high enough to provide enough light to walk in and look cool in photos, but not so high that you need to put sunscreen on. The walk to the hills is quite relaxing, walking across lakes, up compacted snow deposits and over rocks. Climbing the hills is pretty fun, you need to make use of all four limbs at the steep parts. When you reach the top, you get an awesome view of the ice plateau in one direction, icebergs in the other direction, snow covered hills and lakes that look like they have lightning running through them. I think Stalker Hill has the best view in all of the Vestfold Hills!

That is just some of the fun stuff we got up to this month. August was busy and the next few months look to be just as hectic.