The Mawson team recap the month that was as their winter season draws to a close.

Station Update October

Welcome back to our regular Mawson Station monthly update, as we complete final preparations for the arrival of our first flights and the start of the summer season.

To that end, October saw all Mawson work areas completing wrap-up of key winter projects, tidying work areas, and preparing for the arrival of additional summer team members. In addition, we have all been assisting in wider station prep for the new arrivals including cleaning and preparing rooms, spring cleaning the kitchen, and preparing plant and personnel for aviation operations. At this stage, our first flight with nine new expeditioners is scheduled to arrive this coming Sunday 9 November…

As highlighted in recent news, October also saw the successful completion of important science support work with a second Taylor Rookery Emperor penguin photographic census and fixed camera maintenance. Completing that deep field trip was challenging not only due to the logistics, distances, and always challenging sea ice conditions, but also due to our continuing battles with blizzards. To that end, October was just as brutal as September, with another 7 blizzard days during the month. At the time of writing, we have now achieved the blizzard milestone(?) of 50 — 13 more than the annual average and placing us 5th on the all-time highest blizzard season list. The way things have been going, cracking 60 is not out of the question…

October also saw us complete some critical end of winter training for the station Lay Surgical Assistants (LSA) and Search And Rescue (SAR) team. The training culminated last week in a LAST exercise (Locate Assess Stabilise Transport), that assessed the LSA and SAR teams response to an on-station accident. 

In between the blizz days and work, we wound up our winter season this last weekend with final recreational trips to the Auster Emperor penguin rookery, along with a great end of season formal dinner. Along with being spoilt by the amazing cooking of Chef Kim De Laive, we were also treated to the ‘break-up’ performance of our winter band Tommy Dieso & The Disappointments — the band were outstanding and provided a fitting send-off to what has been a great winter for the 72nd ANARE!

Kyle (Station Leader)