With such a busy work schedule this season I haven’t had many opportunities to leave station. During our first experiment we had one particularly glorious Sunday afternoon and since it wasn’t a sampling day a few of us went on a walk over to Anchorage Island. The island is located about 2.5km away from station, across the sea ice on Prydz Bay.
The main thing to see at Anchorage Island are the memorials to the three people who have unfortunately died at Davis Station throughout its history. Ominously, the years have been ’85, ’95 and ’05. No one dares to bring that up in polite conversation this season in fear of continuing the uncanny streak.
The walk across the sea ice was fairly easy, with not a lot of snow cover due to some unseasonably mild weather before we arrived. Across the bay lies Gardiner Island, which is home to a large Adelie penguin colony who seem to take a particular interest in the strange looking creatures wandering along the ice in their brightly colour outfits. A few Adelies came over and checked us out while we were walking, which gave us some photo opportunities and a little one on one time with the locals.
At the top of Anchorage Island we dropped out packs and had a rest and a look around. We received a radio call while we were up there to wait while the Twin Otter aircraft came past and landed on the sea ice runway. We were quite happy to oblige and take a few photos while we waited. Upon returning to the sea ice we decided to take a detour and check out the large wind scour on the southward facing side and found a few sleeping Weddell seals. We were again asked to wait and watch the Twin Otter take off before we returned back across the sea ice to station.
It was so nice to get off station and enjoy a few hours outside and away from the daily grind of work responsibilities and station duties. To have only the sound of the crunch of snow under your feet. It really reminds you of where we are and how amazing this place is.