First jolly of the season and the Mawson green diamond.

The Jolly

Saturday saw four of us intrepid expeditioners head off for the first ‘Jolly’ of the 2012 wintering team. All previous trips up onto the plateau have been for work or training purposes, ours was to lead the way, blaze a trail with the first pure Jolly for the year, no work, not much of anything really, just relaxing, reading and admiring the scenery.

Vicki, Chris, Michael and I (Pete) headed off for a run past Mt Henderson hut. Vicki and I hadn’t been there previously so we were keen to see the track and the hut, and more importantly the magnificent view, very impressive.  From here we headed to Rumdoodle, another hut and our accommodation for the next two nights. Rumy is in a pretty nice location in itself and we soon set about unpacking our gear, heating up the hut and sitting back and enjoying the view and sunset through the lovely large window.  Saturday  night saw us dining in grand style with leftover stout stew and pasta… yummo.  As is always the case in huts everyone sleeps like a baby, and with no snorers we were all surprised when the alarm went at 9:45am Sunday morning to remind us that our sched was due shortly.  Scheds (short for ‘scheduled radio calls') are a twice daily event when in the field to let station know where we are and that we are all well and safe. We also sched in when leaving the hut to travel elsewhere.

Sunday consisted of a lazy morning after Chris had cooked up some of his famous bacon and cheese toasted sandwiches for brekkie/brunch and Michael supplied us all with some delicious coffee from his personal stash. After this, some of us ventured out of the warmth of our hut to check out some of the little melt lakes in the immediate vicinity, taking many photos in the process. The bubbles and patterns that form in the ice are something I never get sick of.  After this we decided to head over to Fang hut as a familiarisation trip for Michael as he’d not been there before and on returning to Rumy we settled in, enjoying the sunset, near perfect weather and that evening a very nice meal of re-heated chips with Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies, very, very nice.

After another great night’s sleep where some cameras were left out to capture any aurora’s that might happen we woke in the morning to find that there had indeed been a pretty good aurora around 1 am.

Time to head home then after a very enjoyable, relaxing and successful first jolly of the season getting back on station in good time before a forecasted blizzard hit Monday night.

The Mawson Green Diamond

Great excitement gripped the small Mawson community this week, when one of the wintering team returned from an undisclosed location, with news of a magnificent find.

The discovery of a very rare and extremely precious stone — Mawson green diamond.

Thought to be the only specimen of its type in existence, the announcement of this  prized discovery was the subject of much speculation as to the whereabouts of the actual find and whether more such valuable treasure was lying in wait to be pounced upon by eager wintering fossickers hoping to make their fortune.

Initially, it was thought that the diamond could in fact be just a piece of green glass.  However, a self appointed expert was called in to study the specimen, and confirmed the find as being genuine.

The “diamond” is being held in a secure location on station until the appropriate clearances have been given to allow the specimen to be returned back to Australia, where it will be put on display to the general public at Antarctic Division headquarters in Kingston.