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Josh's Australian Antarctic expedition 3 - Greetings from Davis Station

Friday, 25 November 2011

Apologies for the lack of updates, it has been a busy few weeks…
We had a visit from King Neptune (the chief bosun, Rog, dressed up and attended by several crew members), and were made to swear allegiance to him and his Southern Ocean. This was a ceremony for all those crossing the 60th latitude for the first time. Fish were kissed, mystery liquids consumed, and all manner of foul gunk poured over us as a reminder of pollution.

 It was an incredibly messy and funny time, especially seeing Fiona’s face in absolute disgust when kissing the fish (she’s not a fan of seafood, putting it lightly). The ceremony was followed by cold showers (cheers to the ship’s crew for cutting off the hot water) and a barbeque and beers on the trawl deck. This was during a day that we were held fast in the ice, and barely moved an inch.

Wildlife increased greatly as we approached Davis, with many penguins and seals making use of the large swathe of open water we opened up for them through the fast ice. Ice breaking was a very slow process, much back and forward especially when we got within sight of the station – the ice was up to 1.7 m thick! The final five miles took more than 24 hours to complete, but finally the gangplank was lowered and we walked ~ 3 km into station where the winterers eagerly awaited the arrival of fresh fruit and new faces to talk to.

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