As we waved farewell to the outgoing 73rd ANARE team the realisation hit us - we had finally made it to our intended destination. Commencing our training at Kingston in November, where we met as a team for the first time, seems long ago now. Once our training period was complete we went into isolation in Hobart for two weeks prior to boarding the ship on the 10th Feb. We then sailed for Davis to undertake their resupply and expeditioner changeover, before heading to Mawson.
Arriving at Mawson this late in the season has produced some challenges for everyone both on the ship and on station. The sea ice reformation has meant MPV Everest has not been able to get closer than 70 nautical miles from station, which has ruled out the traditional over-water resupply. We now find ourselves undertaking a fly-off resupply utilising two B3 Squirrel helicopters that were on the ship as a contingency should this scenario eventuate. This has meant lots of work at head office, on the ship and here on station to prioritise cargo for a safe and productive winter. The team on the ship have played a major role in the resupply as they have had to manually unload containers and sort cargo to maximise payloads for each flight. This is a tough job in a warehouse let alone on the back of a ship in Antarctica.
We will continue to undertake the resupply for a few more days yet to maximise cargo ashore. We have just had a break for poor weather which has allowed everyone to get some rest before we get back in full swing over the next few days.
As the incoming station leader I would like to thank Matt and his team for their warm welcome and the effort they put into our abridged handover. Their efforts have left us in the best possible position to commence our season.