Planning for the sea ice opening and some passersby cause excitement

Highlights of another busy week

Last Sunday saw us receiving our biggest snow dump to date. Snow is still a novelty for many of us, and whilst it's too dry here for snowballs and snowmen, it left a lovely fluffy coating on everything. The colder weather also meant it was time for that science experiement: turning hot water into ice in an instant. Always photographs well!

As winter closes in, our sea ice is growing in depth. This week we began the process of opening the area for traffic, which requires test drilling to ascertain depth at various points. We also needed to access a tide gauge and place markers at various sites for the HEIL sea ice monitoring project that we will undertake over the winter. In order to access the sea ice there are safety protocols we need to adhere to and one of them involves the use of the 'rescue alive' platform for our initial depth drilling. This ensures that, should someone break through the ice, we can quickly haul them out. Thankfully, it wasn't needed and the sea ice is already of a suitable thickness for foot and quad travel. Once we all complete our sea ice training we should be able to head out for a walk on the frozen ocean.

Josh, our plumber from Lord Howe Island, left his mark on the Davis signpole this week: there was a space just waiting for him, so clearly it was meant to be.

And much excitement was caused around the place on Wednesday afternoon when a group of emperor penguins were spotted out on the ice wandering by. We have no rookeries near Davis station, so presumably this is a group of young males taking a tour of the greater neighbourhood. Sadly they were too far out for really great pics, but it was thrill to see them out there.