Experiences made with friends shape a year on the ice

Reflections of a year at Davis Station

Where has the time gone? The dwindling last few weeks on station as we know it. Crazy to think that it’s already been nearly a year since we arrived. The new kids on the block currently incoming in their big fancy new ship, everyone’s preparing themselves for resupply, handovers and departure back home. It’s funny just how much change happens around this place, there isn’t a single thing that is guaranteed to stay the same. Throughout the year we progress through the dealt hand that Antarctica has to offer, residing in the vacant spot once left by years past expeditioners.  We don’t get to choose how our season will unfold, heck we don’t even get to choose the people around us, it’s a totally forced upon reality that we must make the most of.

For my last Icy News I thought about what could I possibly write about, reflecting on the same year most people who venture south experience in some way… The penguins, auroras, field trips, resupply etc. All in all they are just all alternate experiences of the same Davis Station. What have I experienced that no other year has? My family of misfits, the ones who truly make the season one to remember. It’s not, “remember that time I visited the frozen lake” but – “remember that time Marshall and I sang Shania Twain in the Hagg together” or “that time Clokey and I went to the Ellis Narrows to watch the water rapids just talking about life.” How about the time we made a birthday iceberg with lights for Josh’s 30th birthday, and what about the time I punctured a hole in my air mattress with my cleats on (accidentally) while camping at Deep Lake and Kat says “do you need help blowing your mattress up?”, not knowing I was trying figure out a way to not sound like I just punctured a hole in my mattress. All the times you watch out for your mates when away from station or argue over who gets the bottom bunk in the huts, the list goes on.

I guess for my article, I wanted to emphasize the relationships carved and formed through chance and also a little bit of not having any choice at all. The experiences made with friends, that’s what actually shapes a year down on the ice. What is the point of living in such a precious and beautiful place if you can’t share it with people you love? Although my time is near, I fortunately cannot escape my new found family.

As I depart, I leave behind only this article, alongside our group photo in the link-way gallery and an imprinted boot in the snow as proof of my residence at Davis Station that soon enough will disappear into the wind.

Signing off,

Ben “The Benguin” Hawkins

Team Sparky