January 2017

Enjoying New Years Day. Then 4 photos taken between 2:35am and 2:45am on the 2nd of January.

 

Early January – the Sea Ice is breaking out and some local wildlife (Adèlie penguins) pay us a visit on the beach.

 

Chinese expeditioners from Zhongshan arrive at Davis in a Russion built Kamov helicopter. This craft has counter-rotating rotor. Also included is the view inside the ‘Heli Hut’ departure and arrivals lounge.

 

Field (Travel) Training  – Kerryn, Rob, Nick (FTO) and I were flown by helicopter to Trajer ridge. After landing on the snow ridge next to Trajer Hut melon, we went for a hike up to the steep ridge just to the southwest of the hut.

 

Field (Travel) Training 2 – The next part of our training involved hiking towards the west along the snow covered valley next to and south of Trajer Ridge.

 

Field (Travel) Training 3 – when we got to the end of the snow ridge Kerryn slipped and fell, while negotiating rocky terrain. She suffered a minor injury to her hand and wrist. After applying first aid it was decided to call for a helicopter to transport us back to Davis. Her injury require several stitches.

 

Field (Travel) Training 4 – After a couple of hours at the station it was decided that Rob, Nick and I continue our training. At around 4:30pm we flew back out to Watts Hut, where we stayed the night. The next day we walked from Watts to Crooked Lake apple (hut). From there we awaited for our red helicopter taxi to arrive and fly us back to Davis.

 

During the summer we had two research vessels – the Navy’sWyatt Earp and Geoscience Australia’s the Howard Burton. As I had been trained as competent crew on IRB’s we – the boating crews – accompanied the research vessels out to Magnetic Island.

Unfortunately the battery on my camera ran out of power just as we departed the wharf. So the first 4 photos were taken on a camera I borrowed from our IRB skipper and FTO Chris aka Psycho.

 

On January 14th I became a Grandfather (Opa) for the first time. My son Cameron and his partner Jasmine became the proud and loving parents of a baby boy, who they eventually named River Beau. I announced the birth from  Davis on a birthday sign, which could be viewed on the Davis webcam.

Also featured below are scenes from around station, including a visit by a juvenile Emperor penguin.

 

During the summer the Navy and Geoscience crews were using RADAR and Sonar  devices to survey the Ocean floor off Davis Station. When the weather was suitable, both the Wyatt Earp and the Howard Burton would be out there cruising slowly along pre-determined transect lines.

I was fortunate enough to accompany the Wyatt Earp on one of these days. The following photos are of the icebergs that we passed on the way to the research zone.

 

Once at the prescribed survey zone – the skipper of the Wyatt Earp would follow a line, using the onboard GPS, for a few kilometres. Then on reaching the end of that line he would move the boat 50 metres further out and then run parallel to the previous line to the start point. Once there he would repeat the process.

Unfortunately the wind picked up and the seas became to rough, so we headed back to Davis. The following photos are firstly of a very large iceberg beyond the survey zone, then other icebergs on the return journey to Davis.

 

On Australia Day (January 26th) it is a tradition to go for a swim and also play a cricket match. The first photo is of the infamous Davis band “The Dingle Berries”. The next 2 photos are of the swim and the 4th photo is of the prepared cricket pitch – the site had to be abandoned because of the arrival o and elephant seal on the playing field. The 5th photo shows the snow we had on Australia Day.

 

Australia Day summer group photo

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On the 28th,  Allison, Wes,  Rob and I went on a hike to Brookes Hut. We walked along the shores of Dingle Lake, Lake Stinear and Deep Lake, arriving at the hut in the evening.

 

We stayed the night at Brookes hut.  Late that evening, as the sun was setting, it shed a   beautiful, soft pastel light on the clouds and sea ice in Shirokaya Bay. The following photos were taken between 10:30pm and 11:30pm.

 

The next morning we were all up early and after a hearty hut breakfast we headed back to station.

It was a still morning – just right for a reflective photo. Also I have included photos of the inside of Brookes hut. Then there are 2 photos of the incredible dolerite dyke formations of the Vestfold Hills. Finally an adèlie penguin that has been decimated and desiccated by the extremely dry climate.