Mid-point dinner with wine tasting and Mawson’s wind turbines get a greasy check-up.

Mid-point dinner and wine tasting

So you’ve eaten at the best places in New York, London and Paris, but have you matched a select few wines with some thoughtful courses in the Great Southern Restaurant with views over famous East Bay? Our gourmet little group did just this on Saturday night this last week as a marker in the year: we passed our mid-point. Time has flown, but there are still a few sleeps before we walk the gangplank back onto the Aurora Australis (or is that climb a rickety ladder attached to the lower belly of the Orange Roughy?).

“Why match food and wine?”, I asked. “For enjoyment” was my simple answer!

Not often seen outside the kitchen, I fronted a tough audience who seemed reluctant to try slurping and burbling wines over their palates as I so aptly demonstrated wine aspiration. We moved quickly to talking about each of the wines.  Malcolm, Paul, Mel, Bob and I each put our slants on five wines (some fortified) for the group.

Ideally, a wine is matched to a dish, but circumstantially I was challenged with the reverse, plus we opened the wines as the dishes were plated, so there wasn’t an opportunity to taste prior to service.  There seemed to be some discussion and interest around each of the matches.  Judging by the rubbing of stomachs, satiety was definitely achieved.



Olives Ascolane with Preserved Lemon Mayonnaise, Toasted Almonds
2011 Delgado Zuleta La Goya Manzanilla Sherry- Jerez, Spain

Chicken Liver Pate with Cornichon Salsa, Caper Berries and Toasted Baguette
2009 Sparkling Merlot-Hollick, Coonawarra, South Australia

Lacquered Quail with Five Spice and Black Sticky Rice
2010 Geuwurtztraminer-Pipers Brook, Tamar Valley, Tasmania

Braised Beef Cheeks with Spinach Mashed Potato and Garlic Mushrooms
2010 Sangiovese-Coriole, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Chocolate and Chestnut Truffle Cake with Winter Fruit Salad
12 Year Old Topaque-Stanton and Killeen, Rutherglen, Victoria

Mawson’s wind turbines

At Mawson, the diesel-powered electrical system is supplemented by two wind turbines. The wind turbines are capable of generating 300kW of electrical energy when the wind is ideal and steady. The wind turbines are 43m high with a rotor diameter of 30m.

To produce power the wind turbines need to be pointing into the wind. There is a wind direction instrument on the top of the turbine that provides the controls with information to turn the turbine into the wind. There is also a wind speed instrument, which provides information to the controls to adjust the angle of the rotor blades or pitch. The pitch angle is adjusted so that maximum power is obtained from the wind.

One of the station sparkies’ (Paul and Robert) jobs is to maintain the turbines. Most of the maintenance work is up top in the Nacelle, and the only way to the top is up the ladder!

Last week we performed the six monthly grease. This involved changing automatic greasing canisters, cleaning up excess grease and visually inspecting the equipment.

Robert Kiil