A selection of hobby craft work and special projects made during the year went on display. We also conducted fire training exercises involving skills training on the fire Hägglunds pump, hydrant location and extinguisher use. Bront tells what it’s like to wait for the plane that will eventually lead her home.

Dispaly of hobbies and special projects

On the penultimate Saturday of the 2012 Winter we were spoiled by another of Bron’s special Saturday dinners.

Dinner menu


Mushroom soufflé with green salad and tomato and cucumber with fetta

Main course

Fillet mignon with demi glaze accompanied by several vegetables


Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream

To accompany the fine food was a display of hobbies and special projects that people had undertaken during the year. This included beanies, crocheted squares for a blanket and a letter opener ice axe made by Vicki, Mel’s origami penguin and peacocks and Brandi-Dog game boards, memento ice axes made to 1/3rd actual size and push-along-penguins for Wayne’s grandchildren. Chris made wooden jewellery boxes for his nieces Laurel and Josie, stylised wooden emperor penguins, a rolling pin and the Mawson 2012 station plaque. The plaque was cast in pewter on a Huon pine backboard. Anders made a utility box out of sassafras and Huon pine and a carved penguin. Michael made a couple of push-along-penguins for his nieces Lucy and Asha, an extension piece for a break lever on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and two jewellery boxes. Robert made a jewellery box for his partner Sandy, decorated with a hand carved map of Antarctica and other meaningful symbols such as a dragonfly which is the English meaning of Robert’s surname Kiil. Also on display were some of Sandy’s ceramic sculptures which were monthly gifts for Robert and two pottery cups made by Sandy and glazed and decorated by Robert. 

Fire training exercises

During the week we a conducted a fire exercise involving three separate activities. 

A small amount of fuel on water was ignited and the fire team members took it in turns to extinguish it using portable extinguishers. Skills maintenance of the pump on the fire Hägglunds was the second activity and lastly an inspection of all the fire hydrants on station was undertaken. Checks were made for the presence of handles and to ensure the covers had not been blown off. Those hydrants which needed new canes, marker flags and those that needed repainting were identified. 

Waiting for the plane

Waiting. The scope seems to range from mildly anxious to stomach churning, completed at the other end by palpitations and coursing adrenaline. Being the relaxed and flexible expeditioners we are, we’ve suffered none of these as we’ve waited for the Twin Otter to arrive to take us over to join the team at Davis so we can head home on Voyage 1.

One of my first pieces of Antarctic advice given was ‘hurry up and wait’. It’s certainly been apt. Fingers-crossed the cloud cover lifts and we’ll have touchdown on our little ski-way and be welcoming the first new faces for many months.

Michael, Mel and I have packed up our simple Antarctic lives and consigned them to cargo. Hoping the guitar and bicycle won’t need strapping to the roof of the plane. Sad and sorry to leave this majestic landscape and the feathered neighbours, but looking forward to a spectacular flight and a rollicking boat ride home.