This week we celebrate National Science Week, enjoy a 48 hour film and extreme sports film festival and start spring cleaning the plateau huts and routes.

Plateau maintenance

One of the winter station jobs is to place long canes at intervals along the tracks on the Plateau. The canes give a visual aid that you are on the right path as you drive around getting to Fang, Rumdoodle and Henderson Huts.

With low light there haven’t been many trips up to the Plateau over the last few months but now that the light in increasing Tony D the field training officer has taken up the challenge of finishing the cane lining process.

There are three mountain ranges behind the station, the Masson Range where Rumdoodle is located, Mount Henderson where Hendo hut is located and David Ranges where Fang Hut is positioned. Rumdoodle is located next to a small frozen lake on the edge of the glacier. Late at night you can hear the ice in the lake cracking as it moves. Fang is perched halfway up a hill, there is a perfect view from the window opposite the bunks. Hendo is a little more exposed but the view across the Plateau is worth the freezing wind that blows off it.

The main driving routes run from the station to these huts but there are also tracks that extend to Horden Gap and up in to central and South Masson Range.

National Science Week

This week is National Science Week, a week to explore science. In Antarctica one of our primary purposes is to undertake scientific study and through winter we have participated in running many different projects.

When the temperature got below −30°C we threw boiling water in the air and took pictures as it froze instantly above our heads. This also worked with bubbles, they were amazing as they floated off all clear and then turned frosted as they froze in mid air and burst.

We cured meat using salt to stop bacterial growth and produced salami, bacon and ham.

We battle gravity daily as we try to walk on icy snow.

All very good science experiments.

This morning for smoko we reflected on our scientific endeavours by listening to Dr Karl from Triple J as he explained some interesting facts. For example, if a dog wags its tail towards the left of its body then it is not a friendly wag, but if it is towards the right it is a friendly wag… interesting fact.

Film Festivals

After filming our entry for the 48 hour film festival over the first weekend in August, we got to sit down and watch them last weekend.

We had planned to watch the movies on Saturday night but had some technical issues downloading the films, so instead of 48 hour films we decided to have a extreme film festival instead. Gav and Josh have collaborated over the last couple of months to create a carefully curated selection of short films.

The extreme film festival was fantastic, an inspiring mix of mountain bike riding, wing suits, surfing and action.

On Sunday we managed to download the 48 hour film festival and settled in to watch them in the bar on Sunday evening. My personal favourite of the night was the Davis submission, which showed a secret mission from Davis to Mawson the aim being to steal our cheese! Which was kind of ironic because we were eating a big cheese platter…