We have been here at Mawson for about six weeks now so I thought I might make mention of the trip south.
It was a warm, calm day when the Aurora Australis set sail from Hobart on Voyage 3. Once the ship had left the shelter of the River Derwent things got a little rougher and a few people were laid low, although after a few days most had gained their sea legs and were able to get into the groove of life on the ship. Due to the small numbers we had a cabin each and it felt as though we were travelling first class.
There were a few days where the swell was around seven metres and it made spectacular viewing from the bridge, watching the bow of the ship crash into the waves, sending spray everywhere. Birds were common and followed us almost from start to finish, but there was no pack ice to be seen at all, only a few seals were spotted in the open water. A few nice sunsets presented when the conditions were right and plenty of icebergs could be seen once we entered the lower latitudes. King Neptune made a brief appearance and those who hadn’t travelled beyond 60 degrees south by sea paid homage to the great man.
First stop was at Mawson to drop off the new winter crew, carry out resupply/refuelling and pick up the outgoing summer and winter team. The ship then went to Davis for a light resupply and the retrieval of their summer crew then back to Hobart. All went well although the ship did reappear back at Mawson briefly with some important cargo that had been flown into Davis.
For my money it was the most enjoyable trip south ever for me, and resupply ran like clockwork. Many thanks go to voyage management, ships management and crew, boaties, refuelling team and the departing Mawson crew.
Lastly, the one thing that will stick in my mind forever was the day we come upon the biggest pod of humpback whales ever! There must have been a couple of hundred of them, feeding on krill. Everywhere you looked there were whales, simply mind blowing and what a privilege to bear witness to such an event.