Greg pays tribute to our talented carpenter and his work revnovating the bedrooms on station, our electricians successfully bring the wind turbine back online, and we have a drive-in movie night - Mawson style!

Winter is the time to get the renovations done!

For the past month or so, probably a little more, our only carpenter, with some initial help from the electricians, has been renovating a number of bedrooms, in readiness for the influx of expeditioners expected this coming summer.

Firstly, all the old, dated furniture was removed, followed by the electrical fittings, such as lights and switches. Then the walls and ceiling were sanded, patched, sanded again, and painted. The daggy old carpets were ripped up and replaced too.

Once the basics were completed, then the best part was to refit the electrics and install brand new furniture. A huge improvement over the previous furnishings, with a massive increase in storage space.

It’s pretty good to be able to not only watch the progress, but to also see just how well the different tradesmen work together to produce such an outstanding result.

Greg (Mawson Plant Operator)

Wind power switched back on; and drive-in movies - Mawson style

Twenty years ago, Mawson Station became the first Antarctic station (of any country) to have wind turbines installed to assist in powering the station. While one suffered a failure in 2017, our talented electricians perform regular maintenance and repairs on the remaining turbine to keep it going. With the recent spell of calm weather, Mitch, Scott and Jimmy were able to take the opportunity to fix a faulty blade motor and bring the turbine back to full operation. It was great to see the blades spinning again!

Aside from the turbine work and general maintenance and renovations, more social activities were also on the calendar this week. With a birthday celebrated on Friday night, we were once again treated to the wonderful decadence of one of Nick’s amazing cakes – this time a cheesecake with chocolate topping. Friday night was also an opportunity to have the station together to watch all the impressive creative skills of the expeditioners across many stations in Antarctica. Each year, a significant number of stations enter short films into the Winter International Film Festival of Antarctica. Films can be submitted in two categories: an open category and a 48-hour category. The open category can be films of any length and filmed at any time as long as they have not been shown elsewhere. The 48-hour category, however, must be filmed, edited and submitted within 48 hours, only be five minutes long, and contain five elements. This year, those elements were an action (a piggy-back race), a quote (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, Charles Dickens), an item (a dumb-bell), a character (Mickey Mouse), and a sound (a duck quack). Needless to say, it was highly entertaining to see how each station incorporated the elements into their film. After viewing, each station that participated submit their votes on which films stand out in various ways, with results hopefully coming out in the next week or so. Fingers crossed that the rest of the continent enjoyed watching Mawson’s production as much as we enjoyed making it!

On the weekend, the trades team hosted a Mawson tradition – the drive-in movie night. A screen and comfortable seating were set up in the workshop, and once again, the old Foremost Pioneer tracked vehicle was pulled from retirement to serve as a stage for the first-class seating in the workshop. To add to the night’s enjoyment, a BBQ meal was prepared, and Nick created some amazing gourmet pizzas (served, of course, in takeaway pizza boxes) along with a garlic and cheese pull-apart and yet another fantastic cake for dessert. With food on board, we settled back for the main event – a showing of the 1979 Australian classic, Mad Max. Perhaps not the pinnacle of cinema, but certainly a movie that fitted the location.

Cat (Mawson Station Leader)