This week we learn about the wonders of combining malt and sugar in the station brewery; we learn why Dr Mal loves his job; and we meet Heidi Mawson’s intrepid field training officer.

Brewing up for a big day

The Nunatak Brewery is named after the Framnes mountain range situated just behind Mawson station, which poke up through the glacial ice. The Brewery has been producing beer for many years and dates back to at least 1997 and likely well before that.

This year ‘Brew Master’ Leon with help from the other expeditioners has been hard at work crafting all types of beer from chocolate coffee stouts through to the standard lager, getting ready for the biggest day of the year — midwinter.

Made from pristine glacial ice, a few tins of malt and a whole heap of sugar. Just wait a few weeks and you get some of the best beer this side of Tasmania.

Until next time, Mark Baker

Romans, countrymen lend me your ears

What and why does a medical doctor do and go to Antarctica?

Firstly you have to be in a unique personal position to get a leave pass for a year. The stars personally have to align. While the idea, romantically, appeals to a lot of people the sliding doors in life can mean very different situations arise or are available to you.

I love the line from Julius Caesar, where Brutus says:

'There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood leads onto fortune,

Omitted, all the voyage of their life.

Is bound in shallows and in miseries'

While not suggesting this is the only opportunity in life it has been a wonderful occasion to, as they say in football parlance to ‘Have a go ya mug!' It just might work.

Enough of the why, now for the wherefore.

My role is broad, diverse and interesting. I am a generalist and love the independence of it. Having said that I am very appreciative of the professional and committed support of the Polar Medicine Unit back at Kingston in Tasmania.

So have a quick look at my kingdom which I maintain with a benevolent rule. The role varies from surgery and anaesthesia to dentistry, general medicine and psychology, pathology and radiology, physiotherapy and nursing, complete with house cleaning.

It is a very professional unit of which I am justifiably proud.

It’s a fantastic facility and I am grateful for the opportunity it avails.

Until next time, Mal

Bet you didn’t know about… Heidi

Q1 Where were you born? Raetihi, Central North Island of New Zealand.

Q2 Why were you called Heidi? My parents like the sound of it and it is a unique name.

Q3 What’s your middle name and why? Maree and I think it’s an Aunt’s name.

Q4 If you had to choose between country and western and folk which would you choose and why? I think folk because it’s more upbeat with less doom and gloom of Country and Western.

Q5 The first concert you attended? I saw the Cranberries in Auckland in 1995.

Q6 If you were a brand what would your motto be? ‘Work to live not live to work.'

Q7 What do you do on holidays? As much as possible, I like to be outdoors with good equipment and my Labrador by my side.

Q8 What would you like to ask ‘God'? ‘What’s the view like? I hope the sunsets are as good as they are here.'

Q9 If you were another animal what would it be and why? A Labrador. I have had two lovely dogs.

Q10 If you had a dinner party and invited three guests who would you invite? I would like to meet my unknown paternal grandmother and see my two Labradors.