Happy New Year to all!
It’s been a busy time here on station as we combined our festive celebrations with the busy summer works program and everyone realised that time is a'ticking and there’s still lots to see and do.
Christmas Day began with a big brunch to tide us all through the Kris Kringle gift-giving — thanks to Santa Brett for donning the suit. Almost all gifts were made on station in the preceding weeks, so it was great to see everyone’s creativity and imagination at work. Clearly some trades help may have gone on as well!
After some down-time to nap and call home, we feasted on Donna’s selection of culinary delights which ranged from the traditional ham through to lobster and oysters. Again, she proved no slouch with the dessert table and completed the theme with a gingerbread Red Shed, that had been enthusiastically decorated by volunteers the evening before.
The seabird science team of Anna and Marcus moved out to Béchervaise Island on 27 Dec to complete their seasonal work with the Adélie penguins, escorted by some from station who wanted to see the new Adélie chicks. As expected, that proved the last foray on the sea ice and we won’t be seeing them back on station now until around resupply when we have open water again.
FTO Mark took a group out for the New Year’s weekend to climb Mt Hordern, the highest peak around here. There’s no field hut out there so it was camping in polar tents and all-round 'intrepidness'. Sadly, our New Year’s Eve weather forecast for wind and snow (snow that never materialised) meant they decided to cut the climbing and camping trip short and head back to station after completing the Horden climb.
Happily, that meant everyone was home for New Year’s Eve itself, (with the exception of Anna and Marcus), and we dressed up in all manner of interpretations of the ‘M’ dress theme and danced in 2019 to the tunes of DJ Gigiddy at Biscoe.
Amongst all that, we continue with the works program as we race to get everything done before the end of the season and the arrival of the big red ship on the horizon. Of course, we'll still be squeezing some fun and adventure in there. Field huts are busy every weekend and Mark is running guided walks to see the downed Russian aircraft that’s been lying out on the plateau for 50 years now. More on that next week.