The sun has dipped below the horizon at Australia’s Davis research station in Antarctica and will not rise again for six weeks, leaving 19 expeditioners in the twilight zone.
The team at Davis station enjoyed the sun for just 34 minutes yesterday afternoon, as it skimmed the horizon before disappearing until July 10.
First time Antarctic expeditioners, Aaron Brook and Daniel Boskell, said they weren’t sure what to expect from the coming period of darkness, but are looking forward to the experience.
Aaron, who has been working as an electrician at Davis station since November, said it was the extremes of the icy continent that attracted him to work there.
“I’m from Central Queensland so until now I considered 15 degrees Celsius to be cold,” he said.
“But I’ve actually been fine with the freezing temperatures, it’s the wind cutting through the many clothing layers that’s been a shock to the system.”
“The best part of my Antarctic experience so far has been the spectacular night skies and dancing aurora australis’ lights.”
Daniel, also an electrician who calls Devonport on Tasmania’s North West Coast home, said he hadn’t expected the cold to be such a challenge.
“It creeps up on you, I’ve always got at least 2–3 layers of clothes on, but food is the first layer against the cold, so I always have the chocolate box handy,” he said.
“Antarctica isn’t the first extreme environment I’ve worked in, having been in the Pilbura in Western Australia in the height of summer where temperatures could soar to 50 degrees Celsius.”
“I’ve gone from melting to freezing!”
Both expeditioners are looking forward to midwinter’s celebrations on 21 June, particularly the traditional dip in Antarctica’s icy waters.