This week a whole new world of sea ice opened up, we commemorated Anzac Day and we learnt something new about Benny, the music loving chef at Mawson

A whole new world, as far as the eye can see…

‘Frazil’, ‘Grease’, ‘Pancake’, ‘Nilas’, ‘Grey’, ‘Shuga’ — who knew there were so many words to categorise and describe different forms and thicknesses of sea ice? Recent calm and cold conditions have assisted the sea around station to slowly and steadily freeze — enveloping us in a mass of sea ice as far as the eye can see.

We know the most extensive growth of sea ice happens between March and May every year, but of course this year feels special for those of us that are lucky to experience the wonder of it for the first time.

Over the past few weeks, we have sent teams out to ‘walk on water', initially with a rescue platform, then on foot, to test drill and measure the depth of the sea ice forming in Horseshoe Harbour and East Bay.

Over the coming months, the sea ice will grow to be so thick and consistent that it will provide us with a whole new world of travel. A superhighway of sea ice will form, to enable travel on quad bikes and Hägglunds to the emperor penguins colonies and outlying islands that are now surrounded by ice.

The sea ice around station also provides expeditioners with a whole new recreation zone. We can’t wait to get out onto that sea ice — we’ll keep you posted on what we get up to out there…

ANZAC Day reflections

Anzac Day represents a significant day in the calendar of events down south. With calm winds and a pink sky at Mawson we held a Dawn Service on ANZAC Day to remember those men and women from Australia and New Zealand who died or suffered in the tragedy of war.

The Dawn Service was followed by a gunfire BBQ breakfast in the workshop, as we were serenaded with a beautiful rendition of 'And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda' by Dr Mal. A lively game of two up with genuine Mawson currency, and a screening of the classic film Gallipoli gave us all many opportunities to reflect on Anzac Day this year.

On a lighter note, the chef’s Anzac Biscuits were not too chewy and not too hard — just right.

Bet you didn’t know… about Benny — Mawson station chef

Q1 Where were you born? Darwin N.T.

Q2 Why were you called Benjamin? Not sure, after a ten day delay Dad had to come up with something.

Q3 What’s your middle name and why? Dominic, my Dad’s name.

Q4 If you had to choose between country and western and folk which would you choose and why? I would choose Country and Western because of Johnny Cash.

Q5 The first concert you attended? I saw Cliff Richard at the A.I.S. arena Canberra at age five or six.

Q6 If you were a brand what would your motto be? 'Use it or lose it.'

Q7 What do you do on holidays? I like to submerge myself in the culture of the country. That is their food , drink and some extreme sports.

Q8 What would you like to ask ‘God'? 'Why?'

Q9 If you were another animal what would it be and why? A wandering albatross. I relate to their nomadic lifestyle.

Q10 If you had a dinner party and invited three guests who would you invite? Drew Barrymore, Sir David Attenborough and Jimmi Hendrix.