Today’s blog post is a few hours behind schedule owing to a long weekend of midwinter celebrations.  It’s an event with a long history down here in Antarctica, and I’m going to just briefly show you how our Midwinter’s Day has unfolded. It starts weeks in advance with a fair amount of planning, including the sending out of invitations to attend the celebrations.  For the Australian stations (and a few of the… Read More

There are myriad documentaries, calenders, magazine, etc. showing how amazing the landscape down here really is.  In the interest of filling in more of the part you don’t see, this post is a summary of what I did on Monday.  It’s quite indicative of the sorts of things we do day in, day out. To do this right, I’ll start at the beginning.  At 0710 I get up, get dressed (in thermals… Read More

In a previous post entitled Snow, Snow, Snow I showed the aftermath of our first official blizzard of the season.  The heavy weather then lasted for most of the day, with wind gusts sometimes reaching 100km/h.  This time around we’ve done it bigger and better, with two and a half days of winds around 120km/h; the gusts approached 160km/h.  Better still, we had a significant amount of snow falling to add to… Read More

On Thursday morning, four intrepid expeditioners left the station on their Antarctic Ponies (quad bikes).  Their mission was to measure the thickness of the sea ice between Davis Station and Bandits Hut, and also to explore the surrounding area for a vehicular entry point to Ace Lake.  The temperature was -25 degrees Celsius. Drama aside, it was an amazing trip.  The air was icy cold and we had to use every trick… Read More

I’ve had a couple of requests from fellow technicians to do a show-and-tell on the equipment I maintain down here.  For the first of the series, I’m going to show you our ANARESAT equipment.  I made this decision based on the sun coming out and making the ANARESAT dome look more photogenic than usual today! ANARESAT is the name for the Wide Area Network (WAN) connection between Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie… Read More

Pursuant to a conversation I had recently, I was left realising how many little things down here we take for granted.  You might have read my posts on cold porches or rosters, which are also about some unique parts of life down here.  We take them for granted after so many months of dealing with them on a daily or hourly basis, but we don’t even notice the small stuff. One of… Read More

I wanted to do something a bit different this week.  I’m going to show you a few stitched panoramas that I’ve taken over time.  They’re not perfect as stitching large panoramas has been something of an experimental hobby of mine.  They are, however, quite interesting in the detail that some of them possess.  Note that a couple of them are JPEGs over 100MB, so they’re worth downloading and spending a minute zooming… Read More

A couple of days ago I was asked by a friend of mine about the sort of audio we have on the station down here.  It seemed like a great idea for a blog post for a few reasons.  It’s not the first request I’ve had, but there was a blizzard outside yesterday and I’m yet to get clear enough weather to take photos for my other outstanding request. High quality audio… Read More

Although rosters are found in all manner of places, I thought the number of rosters that we’re on down here is pretty special.  Each work area has an ‘on call’ roster or similar (comms included), but here are the rosters that we all need to know about every day. The first roster that comes to mind is for Saturday duties.  Most of them are cleaning, though sometimes we get a couple of… Read More

It’s now been a week since our first ‘real’ blizzard of the year.  I say ‘real’ because it was actually our second, though the first one dropped one knot below the minimum wind speed for one minute.  So according to the Bureau of Meteorology it wasn’t, but I’m going to be lenient because it sounds better to have had two blizzards 🙂 This is the ‘road’ that goes from the workshop, past… Read More