The local weather is showing us the real Antarctica of late and we switch rapidly between bright sunshine and no wind, to high winds and snow blowing about, meaning that we are having to restrict work plans to indoor jobs and change off-station trips at the last minute: so far only one group have managed an overnight trip due to wind forecasts…but that’s how it rolls here at Mawson.
Our sea ice is growing around station and we can no longer see any open water. The sea ice recreational area has been drilled to check depth (60cm and growing) and approved for foot travel, giving us another outlet close to station for some exercise. The Heil science project measures the sea ice weekly over four sites and all sites are now accessible and being monitored: Mark and Matt were out on the weekend to check measurements and do a lap of the rec area to check all was well. Pat and Cormac were then the first to take the opportunity of a leisurely walk on the ice to visit some of the other islands and see station from an angle they’d only previously seen from the ship.
The weekend jolly for Linc, Helen, Paul and Esther ended up as a Sunday drive only, but whilst cloudy on station, it was blue skies and sunshine on the plateau and so perfect for a cruise down past the David Range to view Mt Hordern (the highest peak in the area) and return to station via a walk up the ridge by Fang Peak for some sensational vistas of the plateau.
And whilst we were gadding about taking endless photos (oh thank you, digital technology), the tradies were hard at work installing the new ovens into the kitchen. A job not without its challenges but they soldiered through and the kitchen was operational again by Monday morning, meaning a happy Chef Donna and you know that’s always a good thing!