This week the last of the summer crowd arrives and Béche hut is prepared for the incoming researchers.

First Impressions

On Sunday last I swapped Davis for Mawson and travelled the ~500 icy kilometres between, on board the Xueying or Snow Eagle — the Basler BT-67 or converted DC3 chartered to the Chinese Antarctic programme and on loan to the Australian Antarctic programme for personnel transfers.

The flight across with ten others heading to Mawson for the summer was over some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. It was uneventful and comfortable, even warm which I didn’t expect. We landed on the sea ice in front of Mawson station with the spectacular backdrop of the Casey and Masson Ranges of the Framnes Mountains poking through the massive East Antarctic ice sheet in the back ground.

The Basler refuelled and departed for a quick look at Rumdoodle, the ski landing area used once the sea ice in front of the station fails, before heading back to Davis station.

Ali Dean 

Béchervaise Preparations

Our IT expert for the summer, Ben Newport, spent some time out on Béchervaise Island this week upgrading the communications system that allows the researchers that will spend the next 10 weeks out there to talk with us here on station and further afield.

The research done on Béchervaise Island involves the monitoring of Adélie penguins and other species of Antarctic sea bird populations. This work started in 1990–91 and is now one of the longest ecological monitoring programs in East Antarctica.

While out there Ben had time to take in some of the amazing scenery and observe the local inhabitants.