Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday 23rd March 2014

This morning, like everybody I think? I had a nice sleep in. I got up and had a shower and then went down to ARPANSA to do today's filter change. Outside it was about minus twenty and my hair instantly froze and I had lovely frozen dreadlocks. The 003 detector was working fine and I had the job done in no time.

Back at the red shed I dug out a leftover Fray Bentos pie from Friday's smoko and it was so good I nearly chomped up the can as well. Funny, I was fine but there were quite a few sore heads around me. I spent a few hours moving rooms and then cleaning my old room ready for the new bloke complete with a freshly made bed, a towel and a block of chocolate on the pillow. Shit, I hope he doesn't think I'm having a crack at him? Nar. After this I had to do all the washing and I think just about everybody else was doing washing also.

I had been saving a bottle of government issue champagne for my last day (drinking day) at Mawson which I wanted to share with Luc and Geoff my two Mawson bosom buddies, but Luc was working and Geoff was too busy, so I decided to have a quiet time alone out on "Craig's Rock" out in west bay. This is where the put the wings on the Dakota back in 1960.

It's quite a fair walk out there and once I got there I sat myself down and broke out the champagne. I popped the cork and it landed about ten meters away on the ice, then I filled my glass and quietly made a toast to Mawson and ticking off another one of my bucket list dreams. My arse started to freeze sitting on the rock so I had to use my backpack to insulate it and all the perspiration coming off my head attached to my hair froze and once again I had lovely frozen dreadlocks.

I love sitting on this rock listening to the huge ice cliffs cracking under the tremendous pressure. I would so much love to see a large ice fall, but no matter how loud the cracking and how much I urged it, it wasn't going to happen today. It was bloody freezing, but there was no wind and no clouds and the sun was beautiful and warm on my face. Any noise was instantly echoed off the cliffs and it was good fun. 

I must have sat there for about two hours and I eventually came to the conclusion that its important to surround yourself with family and good friends and to treat everyone how you would like to be treated, But you come into this life on your own and you are going to leave this life on your own, so make sure you are happy and live the life you want because pretty soon you will be sitting back thinking shit where has it all gone? My only regrets in life are the things I haven't done yet.

Then I came back to reality as my arse was still freezing and my serenity was disturbed by Peter L who walked out taking photos. This bloke is gifted and can pull the most amazing shots out of things most people don't even notice. He didn't stay long and soon he buggered of over to west arm somewhere so I decided to get up close and personal with the ice cliffs. Getting close was a bit dodgy as there were a few nasty looking crevasses in the area and I broke a couple open to see the dark void below. One had some amazing feather ice crystals growing on its edges and after taking a few photos I thought I had better get back to civilization. By now it was late afternoon and the light was amazing, so I scurried all around station taking photos of all the building, fuel tanks and surrounding scenery.

It was so bloody freezing my hands were on the verge of going off and eventually I gravitated down to the radio shack and conditions were excellent. I had a nice long chat with a bloke in England who I have spoken to before and also about another thirty contacts all over Europe on 10m. At around seven o'clock I had to drag myself away from the microphone and pack up my radio station. Once all packed away into my big Pelican case, I swept up the floor and rolled up all the cables and bagged up the rubbish. On the way back to the red shed I weighed both my radio Pelican case and my laptop Pelican case and headed back to the red shed.

There was bugger all to eat so I nicked a cabana sausage out of the cool room for dinner and retired to my room to write up my blog. Looking at the ship tracker, the ship it about seventy miles offshore and weather permitting we should see some helicopters tomorrow.


  1. Great blog Craig, good luck with the transfers over the next few days.

    Have a good trip back.

    Matt H

  2. Great photos again. What a time you have had. l will raise a glass of bubbly for you also.Mum.xx