Monday, 10 March 2014

Wednesday 5th March 2014

This morning the weather was perfect and around nine o'clock three boats and nine of us headed off down to the Rookery Islands. We headed down in about a ten knot following wind that gradually died down to nothing and by the time we got there the sea had glassed out. It was one of those magical days on the water that don't come around too often. On each Island we would drop of four people as that is all that is allowed onshore to audit the Adélie penguins and to look for debris while the rest of us went berging while we waited for them to call us on the radio to come back and pick them up.

The scenery was really spectacular yet it was sad to see hardly any wildlife. On each Island there were no Adélie chicks at all and only a few Adélie adults moulting. We were lucky to see a few Weddell seals sun baking here and there on the sea ice and also a couple of Weddell seals in the water. It was a fantastic day and one of the best I have had down here. We didn't get back to Mawson until about seven thirty and by the time we packed up and cleaned up we were all very cold, tired and hungry.


































Enjoy

2 comments:

  1. Yes Craig, I enjoyed! Very few people get the chance to see Antarctica in the first place, and even fewer see glassy-calm (and clear) waters in the Mawson area from a zodiac, so thanks for the pics to show me what it's like. Your posts of the maps a few days back were also useful to show where some of these islands are - and to see how far away Auster and Colbeck actually are. I also noticed the Stanton group on the way to Colbeck - do you have any idea of the story how these were named? (I'm a Stanton too - but don't know of any rellies who have made the trip down in generations past..)
    I see the Aurora is on its way, meaning that life for you and the rest of the team is going to become very busy in a few days time. So I'll take this opportunity to say thanks and well done for your blog - it's clearly been a mammoth effort - and I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see Mawson plus its surrounds and its stories. Hope all goes well with the impending change-over, and that you have a safe trip back.
    Cheers
    Peter Stanton

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  2. Hi Peter,

    It sure was a fantastic trip and we were so lucky with the conditions. The ship is due next Friday and things are now getting quite hectic. Glad you enjoyed the blog as your comments make all the hard work worthwhile.

    Regards,

    Craig

    The Stanton Islands Group is a group of small rocky islands close to the coast about 50kms to the east of Mawson station. Discovered in February 1931 by the British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) under Douglas Mawson. Mawson named them after A.M. Stanton, the first officer of the expeditions Ship "Discovery", 1930-31.

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