Mr Peter Sprunk has wintered seven times, thus spending more than eight years serving ANARE in Antarctica and on Macquarie Island.
In his first winter at Davis, Peter was instrumental to the success of the diving program through his adaptation of the Melon dive shelter that was used in that successful program. During that year he prepared a sea ice runway in a matter of six hours for a C130 that came in to evacuate a critically injured expeditioner. This was a difficult and stressful exercise.
In his second winter at Davis, Peter designed and developed a sediment corer which was used to extract cores from various lakes. He also visited the Larsemann Hills that year, tracing a new route across the Sørsdal Glacier.
In his third year at Davis Peter took part in that year’s traverse, spending almost two months on the ice plateau. The success and safety of that traverse and science program depended at times exclusively on his ability and determination to keep the Hägglunds and other equipment functioning in temperatures as low as −45°C. He also designed and built a mobile generator van which was used during the retrieval of the Lambert Glacier Traverse team from the Larsemann Hills, at the onset of winter.
At Casey Peter was always determined to make the station better in any way possible. He was involved with environmental monitoring of fuel storage problems. Later in the year the problem of water production became an issue as due to a very limited melt over the previous two years water capacity in the melt lake had dropped to almost a trickle. Peter looked at the problem and within days had developed a ‘melt plate’ to more effectively dump heat into the lake. Within less than a week (and while still in the middle of winter) the lake had started to produce much greater quantities of water and this allowed the station to operate effectively for the remainder of the year.
Peter Sprunk has given outstanding service in the Antarctic for many years.