This week we find the emperor penguins, have a Bond marathon and ramp up the training for our walk to the South Pole.

Finding the emperor penguins

On Saturday six of the team headed to Macey with the aim of locating the Auster penguin rookery that is usually located about three to five kilometres from the huts.

Macey Island is approximately 50 kilometres from the station and has sleeping for six people with a hut and a little apple on site. A Hägg and two quad bikes were used to access the area and Tony D, Tony H, Josh, Sam, Chris and Gav swapped around riding the quads and enjoying the experience of quad biking across the sea ice then jumping in the Hägglunds to stay warm.

After an uneventful and quite quick trip across relatively smooth sea ice the group arrived early on Saturday and were able to set up camp and go for a look around almost straight away.

The rookery is usually in a similar location every year and this year was no exception. On the fast ice, complete with picturesque icebergs and glaciers in the background, they all huddle for group warmth. A few more curious ones without eggs come and say hello if you sit still and quiet. Taking a sleeping mat to sit or lie on is a good plan.

Auster is a favourite spot for both research and recreational visits. A team of scientists based at head office in Kingston have spent many years studying the emperor penguins and it is always interesting for those of us at the station to learn more about the science that goes on around us. Currently the males are balancing eggs on their feet to stop them freezing on the ice. After laying the egg the females head across the fast ice to the pack ice to feed before returning to help raise the chick later in the year. The penguins have broad dietary tastes and travel many kilometres over the fast ice to get to the foraging areas. They are amazing animals and it is fascinating to read some of the articles that have been written over the years of study.

Bond, James Bond

So while half the team were out in the winter wonderland that is Macey Island, watching emperor penguins be emperor penguins, we decided that we should have a little fun back at the station and have a Bond night.

There is no better excuse to sit back, drink martinis and watch car races than a Bond marathon. We started the planning on Saturday night by debating the various attributes of Sean Connery vs Daniel Craig and Halle Berry vs Ursula Andress. Finally we decided to meet in the bar on Sunday night at around 5 pm to start our movie marathon.

On Sunday afternoon we struck our first real problem with the discovery that we had no vermouth in the entire station. An emergency Google search for martini recipes without vermouth revealed the Appletini, and a quick look revealed a bottle of apple schnapps left over from summer. We were back on track. A quick raid of the freezer for junk food and we had wontons, chips and a cheese platter. Let the marathon begin!

We watched Casino Royale, which was OK but let’s be honest, a little bit unrealistic. I’m pretty sure that if M didn’t want you to know where her house was, no one would know, and I have never see a hospital like the one Bond woke up in! Then we went classic and started Dr No. I woke up at 8:30pm halfway through… I guess I will have to try again next weekend.

Jen Wressell

Walk to the South Pole

We are ramping up the training program to get ready for our massive 2500 kilometre walk during July, the distance from Mawson station to the South Pole!

We have been joined on the walk by Team Remediation Rampage from head office in Kingston and Team Macca from Macquarie Island. From the first of July we will bring you weekly updates on the team’s progress. 

There is still time to sponsor us on our walk through our Everyday Hero accounts. We are supporting Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Community (AMRRIC) and Headspace. Headspace provides mental health programs to 15–26 year olds across Australia and AMRRIC is a charity that provides education and animal health programs to remote Indigenous communities.