Plant Operator Dan shares "a day in the life" at Davis

Daniel's Davis Diaries

16 MAY 2023: Rapidly changing weather, snow, blizzards and daylight getting shorter each and every day – things the team have now come to appreciate and respect here at Davis station.

Today the sun rises at 11:32am and the sun sets 3:55pm. The hours are closing in each day and we will lose all daylight by mid-winter.

We are slowly adjusting to the change in daylight hours and taking a safe and mindful approach to all tasks and operations.

As the season shifts to winter, the ocean on our shore freezes. The sea ice surrounding Davis has developed substantially. Some expeditioners have been tasked to travel out onto the sea ice and drill for the purposes of depth measurement. It is important for our operations to know that the sea ice is of adequate depth in order for expeditioners to travel.

200 mm for personnel on foot, 400 mm for quad bikes, 600 mm for Hägglunds vehicles.

The usual activities in the kitchen and living quarters continue; Leigh (electrician) has been lending a big hand in the kitchen, helping out fellow expeditioners.

I took the opportunity to put Leigh ('Lethal' as they call him) on the spot and ask a few questions:

Where is home for you mate? “Dubbo NSW.”

What is the best thing about being here? “Experiencing a new station, new team and enjoying the new experiences.”

What are you looking forward to upon returning home? “A farewell beer with the crew. Fresh bananas, fresh milk.”

“I’d like to say hello to all my friends and family at home and around Australia.”

Good on you Lethal.

Recreational indoor activities are a sure fire way to pass the time among peers here at Davis station.

Cards, darts, pool and ping pong are quite popular at the moment. One particular game that has been catching a bit of buzz is Monopoly Deal – there is no such thing as friends in a game of Monopoly.

I managed to enjoy a few games with fellow expeditioners Graham, Josh and Justin.

Helping each other out in the way of laundry, haircuts, and dying hair is quite normal here at Davis. A kind gesture like folding someone’s laundry is not expected, but when it happens it really brightens one’s day.

Ben and Katherine were lending a hand to Kez in the makeshift hair salon recently, which is always appreciated. Seeing a sudden change in hair colour might seem small, but keeps things spontaneous.

It has been great at Davis and I am so appreciative of the team we have, and the experiences we share. Really looking forward to the next six months here in Antarctica as we head into winter.

Daniel Petrie – Station Plant Operator