This week at Mawson — the last visit to Welch Island, an overnight at Bechervaise and the tide gauge is reinstated.

Tide gauge back in place

This week Tony and Ben drilled the sea ice off the station in Horseshoe Harbour directly above a concrete casing that normally holds a tide gauge. One of several such instruments deployed to gather tide information along the East Antarctic coast at, and or close to research stations.

The hole was drilled and the concrete casing positioned — approximately eight metres below the ice surface, which was confirmed via a camera lowered into the hole on a pole.

The plug and float keeping the casing clear was removed using a line and hook. Then the repaired tide gauge was carefully lowered making sure the tension on the rope was kept constant before it was finally safely within the casing and the release rope pulled.

The tide gauge is now once again sending data on the movement of the Southern Ocean around our shores — set to go for another ten years or so if we’re lucky.

A night on Bechervaise Island

Last weekend Shane, Brett, Jason and Cookie picked a pleasant calm sunny evening to take the quads out over the sea ice to stay overnight at the huts on Bechervaise Island.

This will be the last trip out to the island before the researchers on station head out to make the island their base for the rest of the short Antarctic summer and the sea ice is closed for recreational use.

Welch Island walkabout

Our two penguin researchers, Matt and Lisa, completed their census of Adélie penguin colonies on Welch Island this week. This stunning island which dominates our view to the north is on our outer limits for travel at this time of year.

Helping them with this work on Friday were Jason and Josh who took the time to do a circumnavigation of the island, finding a large rather unusual piece of litter in the process.

We could not identify with anything comparable on station, but assume it must have come from here originally, the station being the only station for several hundred kilometres.