Parked in the Ice

After arriving at Davis Station – one of the most amazing sights is to see the Aurora Australis parked in the ice.

The Davis re-supply takes place over the sea ice. At the 3 other Australian Antarctic bases the re-supply takes place over water.

As mentioned in previous posts – the AA finally made it through the fast ice to a location at which it was safe to carry out the re-supply of cargo and fuel.

As there was not enough beds on station – some people were still sleeping on the AA and coming ashore for ‘day trips’. A couple of days after arriving at Davis I was fortunate enough to get a ride to the ship in a hägglund to bring a couple of day trippers back.

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Driving out over the sea ice to the Aurora Australis
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On the way out to the AA – passing Anchorage Island

The Aurora was parked around 3.5 km off Davis – re-supply was in full swing and they had run the fuel line from the ship to the station fuel tanks.

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The Aurora Australis in the ice – the fuel line can be seen on the starboard side

At the stern of the ship was an open channel – the ships path through the fast ice. There were many adélie penguins resting on the ice alongside this channel.

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A gathering of adélie penguins alongside the channel cut through the ice by the AA

Over 3 days around 830,000 litres of diesel was transferred from the AA to the station fuel tanks.

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The fuel line extends from the starboard side of the Aurora Australis
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The bright red/orange colour of the ship is a stark contrast to the snow and ice. Also the blue hägglund is small against the imposing size and shape of the AA
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Amazing to see the Aurora Australis from this perspective
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Many of the local adélie penguin population came to take a closer look at fuel line and the big orange thing that appeared in their world
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Adélie penguins make their way to the stern to where the open water may supply a short cut to the open waters
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Our blue taxi awaits

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I managed to go out to the Aurora Australis a second time, but this time a group of us walked out across the sea ice on under a beautiful, clear and sunny sky.

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Walking across the sea ice towards the AA – following the channel made by the fuel line

On the way out to the ship we came across a group of adélie penguins. in their myopic state they come towards us – thinking that we are also penguins. Then they suddenly realise that we are not what we seem.

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Adélie penguins coming to check us out
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A picture tells a thousand words
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An impressive sight out on the ice
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A pair of beautiful adélie penguins 
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The ice bergs look amazing 

As we got nearer to the AA – one of the crew came out towards us. It turned out to be the captain Gerry O’ – it was great to see him.

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Captain Gerry O’ and I pose in front of the AA
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Re-supply was still in full swing and going well
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The AA looks impressive from every angle
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The pink hägglund “Opal” was being used as a taxi

I got a ride back to the station in ‘Opal’ the pink hägglund – I had to be back to open the Post Office. The mail bag would depart with the Aurora Australis.

Later the same evening I had one last trip out to the ship – this time I brought along all the postal stuff (first day covers, stamp packs, and post cards) for the crew to purchase and send.

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Last view form the Aurora Australis trawl deck

Please share…..

Until next time……

 

2 thoughts on “Parked in the Ice

  1. Just finished reading Tim Bowden’s account of the 1989 resupply on the Icebird and the need to wait for sea-ice breakout before fuel re-supply could take place. Compare that with the huge advantage of a decent ice breaker being able to get so much closer at such any early time of year – brilliant.

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