Sunday, 4 January 2015

The old and the young

One thing I have been intending to do is blog about all the buildings on station. 
Despite what my posts may lead you to believe, working down here isn't all penguins and quad bike rides! Over the coming weeks I plan on showing you all exactly what it is like living here. It will also give me the chance to show you all some of the beautiful old heritage buildings we have littering the landscape at Mawson.

I am going to kick of from down the bottom of station at the distinctive Hangar.

The Hangar at Mawson was constructed in 1956 to shelter the Beaver aircraft that were being used for exploration in the early days.

The door which may never open again.

It is a simple shed, made from a steel frame and water tank corrugated iron. There are spray foam insulated offices/bedroom/storage rooms on one side and a spare parts storage room inside the hangar. The large door hasn't operated for a number of years and the building is now used for storage of excess infrastructure items.

Oil & Fuel spill equipment

Door winch


Over the road from the hanger is the old HF radio hut. I don’t know a lot about this structure as far as when it was built and what its original purpose was but at the moment it is housing some of our communications equipment, namely our High Frequency radio equipment and leftover comms rigging and spare parts and it has some great old equipment still tucked away in there.

Transmitter Hut

A thing


Lots of other things

Soldering Iron from hell

The ever handy shadow board

 We also have a couple of scientists down here this summer studying the local bird life. They are spending the remainder of the summer close to station, on Bechervaise Island now that the sea ice is too unreliable for vehicle travel. On boxing day a few of us offered to help move some of their gear over to the island which meant a lovely stroll across the ice and through the Adelie penguin rookeries. The Adelie chicks made for some great photographs.

Interesting mural.

The Penguins on Beche are quite heavily studied. They are regularly counted, fitted with trackers, examined and observed with all manner of equipment. There are nests tagged with numbers and electronic tags

Some have permanent cameras watching them.

There is even a weighbridge that automatically counts how many penguins are nesting and fishing from certain areas.

Sadly last year none of the chicks on the islands survived due to the ice not blowing out and it was taking too long for the parents to travel to and from the water to fish so all the young starved. 

The island is littered with reminders of previous seasons.

This year looks more promising though.

The Beche plunge pool.

A fishing party returns.

Till next time!

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