With re-supply over the station was still a hive of activity. The wintering crew of the 69th ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition were on their final day on station. While the new incoming 70th ANARE were already busy organising their busy program for the up-coming summer.
We had a handover ceremony – with the out going station leader handing over the ‘keys to the station’ to Kirsten, the incoming SL. More or less after the ceremony the outgoing crew boarded the two hägglunds and made their way out across the sea ice to the Aurora Australis.
The next day the Aurora Australis slowly turned around in the ice and then sailed down the path she had made a over a week earlier.
The busy summer had begun – It was going to be a hectic time on station in the up-coming weeks with many projects and programs to commence.
One of the first things to put in place is the fire and emergency response team. So in the first week we had training sessions in fire response as well as the medical team (Lay Surgical Assistants) having a training session. The winter expeditioners were split into two Fire/ER teams.
Meanwhile the trades started their work programs.
Because of extensive daylight hours – there was plenty of opportunity to explore the station and surrounds (Station Limits). On the 24th of November the sun set at 1:18am then rise again at 1:49am. Then it wouldn’t set again until the 19th of January.
One of my favourite tricks in photography is to take a picture of a reflection, particularly in small puddles of water. Some examples of this to follow.
As mentioned in a previous post – I am the Post Master on Station. We have a building which is the Post Office. This small building has an amazing history – originally it was built on Heard Island in 1953 and housed the radio theodolite for tracking balloons. It was from a World War II design and prefabricated for easy construction at Heard Island. It was moved to Davis in 1959 after a brief stay at Mawson Station.
According to Davis Station Heritage Study (Rando & Davies 1996), this small, hexagonal shaped building was constructed of eight timber-framed, plywood-clad panels, filled with ‘Dufaylite’ insulation. It was used as a radio theodolite hut until 1962 and was then used mainly to store paint and clothing. When I was here in 2005 it was being used as the music/band hut.
There are also other old buildings around station – one of which is a remnant of the old Davis Station. It is now used as the ‘hobby’ hut and is stocked with tools and machinery for expeditioners to construct their hobby projects.
Once again I took out my Nikkor Micro 105mm f2.8 lens with the following result.
After re-supply many of the containers and equipment was stored in various places around the station until a place could be found for them. This included the beach in front of the station.
Included in the cargo to arrive on station were two work boats, which will be used to survey the surrounding shipping channel and ocean floor in the local area of Prydz Bay.
Geo Science Australia owned a yellow boat called the Howard Burton. The second, red boat called the Wyatt Earp is owned and operated by the Royal Australian Navy.
One evening after work a group of 8, including myself, went on a walk around the Station Limits to the northwest of the station. We came back along the shore of Heidemann Bay.
There are some amazing rocks and rock formations out in the Vestfold Hills
One of the jobs at the beginning of summer was to clean the windows while the temperatures were mostly above 0℃ (32℉). You would have thought that some of the external windows (double glazed) were inaccessible.
My job at Davis is to do weather observations. Part of the job is the release of weather balloons – this happens twice daily at 0615 and 1815 local Davis time which is 2315 UTC and 1115 UTC. At these times weather balloons are released and tracked all over the world, with the data fed into supercomputers to produce model profiles snapshots of the entire Earth’s atmosphere.
Beneath the balloon is attached a radiosonde – a instrument that transmits pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and wind direction as it makes its way up through the atmosphere. It transmits this information back to base every second until the balloon bursts at anywhere between 25,000 and 37,000 metres (this takes between 1.25 and 2.5 hours).
On Wednesdays we send a bigger balloon with ozone senses.
Thanks for your attention.
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Until Next time…..