This week we send our merriest Mawson Christmas greetings to our families, friends and loved ones; and bid a short term farewell to our Seabird team.

A very merry Mawson Christmas

As the outgoing Station Leader of the 70th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition at Mawson station, I’m thrilled with what we have achieved this year.

As a team we have continued a long and proud history of Antarctic tradition at Mawson, a station steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty.

Perhaps it is a shared sense of purpose, a shared spirit of adventure, or a desire to go the edge of things.

Whatever our motivations are for spending more than a year of our lives in Antarctica, this extraordinary continent attracts exceptional people. And each expeditioner has been exceptional in their own way this 70th ANARE season.

There have been times of incredibly hard work, when the ‘A factor’ provided a dark, cold challenging environment to work in. There have been many moments of shared wonder– marvelling at jade bergs and majestic emperor penguins. And perhaps most importantly of all, it has been a tolerant, cohesive and fun community to be a part of, so vital when we are working away from our loved ones for so long.

I’m grateful to have shared this extraordinary year of wonders with such a great winter and summer team of expeditioners.

We know how lucky we are to have called Mawson home. The weathered sign on west arm greeting every new expeditioner says it all – It’s home, It’s Mawson.

To the 2018 incoming team, I truly hope you share the wonder as much as we did.

To our family, friends and loved ones at home, we wish you a very Happy Christmas from Mawson Station. We look forward to exchanging gifts, cracking open hand-made bon bons and feasting on a long banquet lunch here on station. 

A very merry Mawson Christmas.

By Kat Panjari, station leader

Seabirds fly the coup

This week Anna and Lisa from the seabird program hauled their sleds across the sea ice to spend the rest of the summer working at Bèchervaise Island.

Anna and Lisa will live in isolation with the bird life at Bèchervaise Island three kilometres from station to undertake intensive Adèlie penguin and snow petrel monitoring.

They will count, weigh and deploy tagging devices on the Adèlie chicks that are just starting to hatch; and monitor skua and snow petrel nests to determine breeding success.

We’ll keep you posted on their work program over the summer.