People and movies make Mawson memorable

Meet an expeditioner: William (Sealy) Seal

Name: William Seal

Nicknames: Sealy

From: Gladstone, QLD

Previous seasons? This is my fourth winter; Davis 2014/15, Casey 2016/17, Macquarie Island 2020/21 and now Mawson 2022/23. It is a real privilege to complete a winter at all stations in succession.

Job title: Station Mechanical Supervisor (SMS), Lay Surgical Assistant, station photographer, Fire Chief (again)

Describe your role in two sentences: Maintaining the fleet and generating equipment, fuel management with Tom our other Dieso. Assisting the Doc if the need arises, taking some official photos (thanks to modern technology I can be in the photos too!) and assisting one of the two fire teams on station.

What did you do before you joined the AAD? Supervisor in heavy industrial plant back in 2014, contract work after that.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Mawson? Getting out and seeing the sights. Colbeck and Taylor Glacier are really special. Auster is next level. The plateau is WOW!

If you were not an SMS what would be your dream job? Working on high-end luxury yachts, possibly in the Antarctic tourism industry?

How does this season at Mawson compare to your previous seasons down south? You can’t compare seasons, but the place is spectacular.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Here? Play darts and dabble in photography. At home? Renovations and helping other veterans with Young Vets and the RSL

What song sums up your Mawson experience so far? Against the wind – Bob Seger. It’s a windy place

What actor would play you in a film version of our 75th ANARE season here at Mawson? Mark Wahlberg

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why? Fang, the view there is pretty awesome!

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? Canada Goose jacket, extremely warm and well suited for windy Mawson.

What is your typical 'Slushy FM' genre? Do you have a particular favourite? All sorts, 80’s, 90’s

Describe your Mawson experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.

Sight: Light changing on the glacial cliffs west of station.

Sound: Gentle hum of the generators in the powerhouse, and the wind whistling through the antenna wires

Feeling: Being blown off your feet in some of the blizzards that we have experienced here, along with cold (go figure?).

Taste: Donna’s awesome cooking!

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with? Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right! Henry Ford

The Mawson drive-in

Have you heard? The chicks have started to arrive at Auster Rookery. Unfortunately, with the winds once again doing their Mawson thing last weekend the team was yet again confined to station. This means the emperor penguins will need to wait a little while longer before they are blessed with the outstanding company of the Mawson expeditioners at their paparazzi best.

So, what to do when we are feeling stuck and a little frustrated by the confinement of the long winter in Antarctica? Time for a drive-in movie Mawson style!

Huge screen up in the workshop, projector and speakers installed, latest movie release ready for viewing, the Pioneer (*copy and paste the link below for info on this very cool vehicle) moved into the workshop with seats installed on the back trailer; and the ‘gold class’ cinema was ready to go…nearly.

But what about the food? Fabulous as usual! (Thank you, Donna). Bar snacks with a few quiet drinks while the burgers sizzled on the bbq – and of course we had those with ALL the toppings. And then, just as the curtain was raised (or play was pressed on the laptop) our cinema snacks – popcorn, choc tops, lolly bags and frozen coke. Everything one could want for a night at the movies. Now we were set!

The movie itself may have been a little lacking, but the experience of a movie in the workshop in Antarctica was fantastic. We’re already planning to do it all again - when we can get the next big blockbuster onto station.

Bec J