Another week has passed at a rate of knots nearly as high as the constant wind here, at what we like to call 'Awesome Mawson'. With beards getting longer and the days getting shorter we have well and truly settled into a more focused routine.
All expeditioners are now up to date with field training, and with the sea ice officially opened on 16 May it has allowed small groups to venture out from station limits to explore what this amazing part of the world has to offer. It's also allowed our highly skilled tech guy, Trev, to get out in the field where he has begun checking, servicing, updating (and all the other magic he performs) the permanent penguin monitoring cameras in the station operating area and beyond. This is an important part of the science carried out here at Mawson.
But it can’t be all fun and games. The trades team are now at the end of the modification and alterations implemented around station to maximize our fuel conservation measures. With the measures we’ve put in place we haven't had to lower our comfort level too much. Apart from a couple of little luxuries put aside for the moment, all on station are happy and able to go about their daily routines as usual, perhaps just leaving jumpers on a little longer at times.
Our talented sparkies, Mark and Ryan, have been climbing the wind turbine at every opportunity when the wind drops down and allows. They are making good progress with maintenance, repairs and safety checks and hopefully it will be back in service shortly, reducing pressure on our fuel supplies.
Team chippy, Aaron, Timmy and I, have started on the renovation works to the dongas (bedrooms) on the upper level of the sleeping and medical quarters. We cordoned off six rooms in the south western corner of the building and have made good progress stripping out the rooms, flat packing the old furniture in preparation for return to Australia (RTA), preparing walls and ceilings and putting a fresh coat of paint on. Once complete, some of our fellow expeditioners can move in and we’ll start on the next six or so rooms.
Meal times are about the only time during the day that all 18 of us get together at the one time. Our world class chef Kerryn (aka Kez, Kezza, Blondie, hey you….) has been keeping the team well fed with some of the most fantastic meals we could ever wish for. This is evident with both the silence whilst eating and then the conversations, banter and laughter afterwards. Talking of eating, I’m off to dinner right now, so until next time, take care and stay safe.