This week at Mawson we have ships, storms, an ellie seal and auroras.

Ship’s here!

Finally after over two weeks at sea the new Mawson wintering team for 2017 has arrived!

The ship came into Kista Strait on Saturday and as the weather cleared and the wind dropped the station team headed out to meet and greet and look at what the ship had brought us.

Then it was back on station for inductions and training for the new crowd before beginning the huge job of unloading the cargo, refuelling the tanks and handing over all that we have learned about this amazing place.


Jason took a picture of this young male elephant seal while out walking around the shoreline close to Mawson station recently. Hopefully this one will come ashore for the next three weeks to moult.

This is the first time we have seen an elephant seal here this summer. Apparently they used to be common along the Mawson coast — let’s hope this is the beginning of a comeback.

The storm before the calm

Well, not exactly calm but back to the usual katabatic wind increasing overnight and dying off through the morning to lovely sunny, calm afternoons.

The ship was actually ready to come in last Tuesday but instead the winds picked up and we had our first blizzard of the summer. Visibility dropped and the wind speed picked up which meant we didn’t leave the Red Shed unless we had to.

Eventually the wind died down and the clouds cleared as the ship slowly came towards station to begin handover and resupply.

Two auroras!

First we had the ship — the RSV Aurora Australis come to visit. Then a few nights later on the 13th February we had our first view of another aurora australis – the southern lights.

The skies above Mawson are once more dark enough to see this magical play of light as charged particles from the sun stream along the Earth’s magnetic field at the poles.