Labour Day weekend
After a rather eventful and busy month in February everyone here at Mawson relished the opportunity to recover, rewind and be rewarded with an extra day off.
Friday: In fact, even Mother Nature was kind settling the wind enough so that we could seize the moment and deploy the boats Friday and Saturday afternoon with those onboard enjoying some spectacular sights including seeing an emperor penguin, moulting Adelie penguins on the surrounding islands, skuas having a feeding frenzy, icebergs, ice cliffs and a close up of the sea icing up before our eyes.
Also on the program was Geoff taking a small group through Hägglunds training. Meanwhile Cookie and Trent finished preparing all the ingredients that our chef, Justin, had put together for “make your own burger night” which really hit the spot with everyone. Then a few expeditioners watched the recorded NRL from round 1 of this season.
Saturday night: With everyone having done their Saturday duties on station, the second iceberg cruise taking place and people catching up on work, sleep, their own cleaning and relaxing, Trent seemingly being our second chef again took to the kitchen as part of his slushy duty and spent hours preparing some really authentic and tasty pasta dishes with garlic and cheese bread. It was a special night for all of us with great company, great food and really kick started a night in which a lot of pool was played and darts were thrown. A display of auroras outside greeted those that stayed up or woke up during the night.
Sunday: Where was everyone? The station was fairly quiet, most people doing their hobbies, sorting out photos, websites and catching up with family back home. It was ‘catch and kill’ at the station meaning everyone had to get their own meals so with only 15 of us on station and everyone eating at different times, being in different rooms or buildings, sometimes it seems you are the only person on station.
Monday: For me it was a chance to do some map exercises in the morning preparing me to become a trip leader. I had to take a map of the area, mark out waypoints and the distance between them, write down their grid reference and the direction of travel from magnetic north.
This was a great exercise having been out in the field on two occasions now and learning those skills as part of the training with John, our field training officer. In the afternoon, one walking party took off around east and west arm while four of us took to walking on the ice with our mircrospikes from Mawson station up past GWAMM. It was roughly a two hour round trip, great exercise, nice views back to the station, distant ranges and the frozen summer melt streams. It was also a good time to work out how long a marathon would take us. We are aiming to do this in September as a group.
Until Next time,