With the end of winter and the upcoming arrival of our summer expeditioners, the bi-annual mission to dig out Gadget’s Gully Dam has been on the to-do list for the last few weeks.
All of our water on station is sourced from this dam and piped approximately 1.5km down the hill into our tanks. The dam is filled by surface water from the plateau, and with the water comes a steady supply of sediment, rocks and mud which means a major dig-out operation is required a couple of times each year.
Being a little bit lacking in the upper-body strength department (and a lot lacking in the shovel-skill department), I felt comfortable in the presumption that there was no way I would be called on for the task.
But of course, when it turns out there are only 4 of you who are available for the job (not in the field and not on the fire team), upper-body strength and shoveling abilities suddenly don’t count for much.
'Team Gadgets 2018’ (carpenter/BSS Tim, plumber Greg, met observer Danielle, and myself) were up bright and early last Tuesday morning, hoping for a lovely sunny and wind-free day, but of course getting dense fog, bouts of rain, and the usual 20–30 knots of wind.
On initial inspection we thought it didn’t look too bad, but of course that was before we drained all the water out and realised that what we optimistically took for rock was in fact, quite a lot of mud.
At that stage the only thing to do was to start shoveling. And shovel we did, for the next 6 hours or so (with the odd break for cups of tea and general cursing) until bedrock was hit and the job was done!
Editor’s note: water supply, storage and treatment is part of the Macca station upgrade, due to be built by 2022. Find out more here (and take a virtual tour of the existing station).