Happy New Year from sunny Mawson!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us here at Mawson Station!

I was lucky enough to arrive here on Christmas Eve — a perfect sunny, cloudless day — with the hydrography project team. Perfect timing to arrive for all the Christmas food and festivities, and we were made very welcome by the local residents.

Santa visited us on Christmas morning (somewhat later than the fire alarm (false alert) that made sure we were all out of bed by 0800) to distribute the Kris Kringle gifts: some lovely handmade things that had clearly had a lot of time and energy put into their creation. Lisa and Anna, our penguin scientists from Béchervaise Island, were able to walk back across the sea ice to join us for the day and in the afternoon everyone gathered for the traditional feast — a superb effort from Chef Benny — before a laid-back night in the lounge.

On Boxing Day, Lisa and Anna were escorted back to Béchervaise by a team of willing walkers making a final trip over the sea ice before it closed for the season. Our penguin team are now living ‘in isolation’ on Béchervaise Island conducting their annual research on the Adélie penguin colony until the ship arrives.

Not too much time back at work before it all stopped again for New Year celebrations. Various parties headed off station to make the most of their remaining time in this extraordinary place, including a group who set out to climb Mt. Hordern. (More about their adventures next week.) Those of us left on station caught a screening of the Sydney fireworks (the benefits of being six hours behind) and rang in the New Year in full daylight — not something you can do at home!