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Mawson Newsletter July 1980

Well another month has passed and it is time once again to bring our activities and news to all our loved ones and others back home.

After a very successful Mid-Winter celebration it is time for us all to get our backs back into action. Speaking of backs, 50/50 did some jumping around on Brutus's back after he had a fall and now Brutus is spending a few days in bed.

The first thing that comes to mind is the re-cushioning and recovering of the pool table after a lot of complaining. Thanks to Liz, Brutus, Jumbo, Siggo, Bear, Father and Steelo. On completion of the table, we held a doubles competition and after a good night of pool the eventual winners were Phredd and Bear.

During the month, Jaygee offered to become Assistant Fire Chief, helping Jumbo to weigh and refill extinguishers. Our volunteer chefs for the period included Brutus who served us a very colourful meal including deep purple cabbage, bright green broccoli and red rice. The next day 50/50 served us fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. Drobo who was our third volunteer could not beat Brutus for colour or 50/50 for originality, so served us a delightful meal of chicken and almonds with asparagus, and all meals were appreciated by all.

The first of the jollies started for the month with a party of three. Gnome, Dagwood and Father setting off in the V.W. buggy for a run down the west coast where they got as far as Taylor Rookery and saw the Emperor penguins with their eggs. The third day saw the return of the party safe and sound after an enjoyable stay.

On the 25th of June the weather deteriorated . . . . into a blizz with maximum gusts up to 87 knots. Following this our weather men Nobby, Shep and Weather treated us to some very fine weather for the early part of the month, with temperatures up to -4, but during the middle and latter part of the month the weather turned sour on us with high wind and a fair amount of drift.

The weekend of the 12th we were to see another party consisting of Godfather, Big Daddy, Brutus and Liz taking the dogs up on the plateau for 3 days, heading towards Fang Peak.

The dog teams were swapped around a little and every time they took off there were quite a few scraps to be broken up. To try and find the right combination for the teams the rest of the day was spent just running around on the sea ice, and the jolly was postponed until the next day. As there was a pretty hard night on the booze and Brutus's back was sore from his fall, the trip was again postponed until the following weekend. It finally left with Weather and Tuck standing in for Liz and Brutus, who were both grounded through injury and sickness.

We saw another one of our official trips take place out around the islands from Mawson checking on the beacon sites, this was much more successful than the first trip, the party consisted of Weather, KCMG and Raincoat. Later in the month we were to see another party set off on a three day jolly to Auster Rookery to check the Skidoos, and recce the route for later trips. This party consisted of Snoopy, Bear, Rusty and Siggo who set off in the VW buggy and two Skidoos. The run to Auster was uneventful but once they had arrived there the weather turned sour on them and they spent a day unable to move, before returning all safe and well, but the vehicles didn't fare so well.

Just after this party arrived back home we were to see another party consisting of Cosin, Gnome, Stix and Raincoat head off to the plateau towards Horden's Gap in search of meteorite particles.

Due to our persevering radio techs, the good Friar Tuck and Steelo, we should soon be taking our radphone calls direct from Perth without going through Sydney.

Once again we were to see Shakey's Blue Flyer (ice yacht) back on the sea ice again, but only for a short period, because a gust of wind toppled it, snapping the mast.

Genie, our visiting scientist has lost much sleep due to consistent high winds and jokingly tells of his dreams to move his radar to Davis or somewhere less windy.

Dogmen Radish and Shep are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Vida's pups and have spent much time building a maternity ward for the occasion.

Sojo and Phredd spent a blustery few hours on West Arm where they had to do emergency repairs to cable for the very low frequency experiment.

Terrible, one of our men up on the hill is pressing on with his airglow experiment and hopes to be partly operational soon.

On Sunday recently, Chastiv and Big Daddy went fishing out at the Little Hut (the Green Dunny) on the sea ice in Kista Strait. Nothing was caught but a Killer Whale (or was it a Guppy) was seen swimming near a submerged light. A party atmosphere developed later when three others (who had been walking dogs) arrived at the hut.

Well that's about all for the month as far as news goes. We are all thinking about our loved ones back home as time marches on. This letter was put together by the construction crew (the work force).

With all our love, from the men at Mawson.