Sunday, 29 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Santa even finds his way down here!

This time of the year is a time of extremes. It is obviously a time when everyone is missing their loved ones at home but it is also a time where everyone bands together to make their time here as enjoyable as possible! One minute you are pining for home and your family then the next minute you are sharing an amazing dinner and stories with fellow expeditioners and friends. To me, this time of year is the hardest yet also the easiest time to be isolated from home. If that makes any sense whatsoever?

The weather has also changed quite dramatically, at the moment we are getting lows of about -4 and daytime temps of around +1 which is quite bearable in workshirt and pants! I guess the 24hr sunlight is helping to maintain the heat. On the 21st of this month we had our summer equinox which is the longest day of the year and the longest day of the year at Davis is the same as the 5ish weeks before and 5ish weeks after it when the sun simply circles around and around in the sky. We haven't seen a sunset since early November! Its disorientating to wander outside at 2am and need to put on sunglasses and sunscreen!

Here is a photo of shortly before midnight on the 21/12. This is as low as the sun is getting!

As dark as it gets at the moment...

Last weekend I got the opportunity to head out into the field with Sarah and Alyce while they carried out some sampling of Deep Lake Tarn, Deep Lake and Lake Stinear. We hiked to Brookes Hut for the night then wandered around the Vestfolds the following day taking samples of Microbes out of the Salty, Stratified lakes. We were blessed with Bluebird weather and it was great to get out and about in that clean air!

Sarah at Brookes in the middle of the 'night'

Sampling at Deep Lake Tarn

Deep Lake Tarn has an interesting Algae growing in it and is like nothing else that I'm aware of in these lakes..

Deep Lake Tarn algae

Odd stuff...

Deep Lake itself. Its quite strange walking down into Deep as it is located 50+ meters BELOW sea level yet only a couple of Kilometres or so from the coast! Apparently it's salinity is only slightly lower that that of the Dead Sea! Might have to try having a dip in there!.... :)

Deep Lake actually looks quite inviting!

More sampling

Well that's about it for today, ill leave you all with a news story of a Russian ice strengthened vessel chartered to an Australian expedition to trace Mawson's first voyage that has been beset by ice and is in the progress of being rescued by the French, Chinese and our own Aurora Australis that was in the middle of resupplying Casey station!

Happy Holidays guys!

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