First days on station

It has been a rather busy start since arriving here at Mawson that it is now day 5 down here. A bit of a summary:

It was a pretty busy day leaving the ship on Wednesday. I was scheduled for flight #2 which we weren’t too sure if it would make it into the forecasted weather window. They always ensure it’s a good day for flying. The news came in that the flight was going ahead so we got ready. When it was time we went straight from the ship to the plane over the sea ice on a Hägglunds snow vehicle. Once ready for take-off we were on our way. The flight over is amazing with our route mostly following the East Antarctic coastline.

Getting in to station was fun. We landed on the sea ice, donned microspikes on our boots, and walked into “town”. There we met our wintering team and then went straight into inductions around station. Following a fire drill we all sat down to dinner and got to know each other. They’re an amazing bunch of people who haven’t seen any new faces for half a year, so it was great hearing what they’ve been up to over the winter.

My primary role started on the Thursday as the IT Officer for the station. So far I’ve been helping the summer expeditioners get connected and a few other things around the office. I’ve also been helping with upgrading the webcams around station and some satelite upgrades, two projects we’ll be working on over the season.

The weekend rolled around and after completing my Saturday community duties (this week I was on the garbage run around station) we got the bar ready for a party. This week we celebrated the Station Leader’s birthday and the theme was “red”, so I wore a red shirt and found a tartan hat in the costume store downstairs. It was a great night to all celebrate together and just enjoy ourselves.

On Sunday I had my first walk off station. The doc took a few of us newbies on the Guamm loop, a 4.2km walk up the plateau and back. It’s amazing to look back and see how tiny the station is compared to the local scenery of glaciers and icebergs trapped in the sea ice. I’ll definitely be doing this walk again soon.