The landscape around Davis can change so dramatically and quickly. The place turns into a winter wonderland with a covering of fresh snow, but the snow is so dry and powdery that as the wind continues but the snowfall stops, the snow on the ground gets almost completely blown away leaving us with bare rock again. We had a decent blow last week, peaking at a mean speed of 66 knots, gusting to 77 knots. All vehicles were safely stowed away to protect them from being sandblasted by Vestfold rock. The snow came with the wind, and we almost recorded our first blizzard, but visibility did not get quite low enough. Certainly made for an entertaining walk to work though! The weather observations for this day began with blowing snow, but later in the morning had transitioned to raised sand.
With the first stage of Search and Rescue training complete, we had our first overnight recreation trip for the winter season. Three expeditioners headed out to Brookes Hut, while the rest of station celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day with a feast of Irish fare and music. Fresh snow had fallen and there was very little wind, so the walk to Brookes via Lakes Dingle, Stinear and Deep was stunningly beautiful and peaceful, with mirror reflections and noises muffled by the snow. This was quite different to previous trips where bare rock and the prominent black dykes criss-crossing the landscape dominated.
The sea has been regularly freezing, then returning to open water again as the ice is blown away or moved by tides and currents. This morning the sea ice looked the most extensive so far, with complete coverage as far as you could see. It will most likely blow out and reform many times yet before setting in for the winter and thickening enough for us travel on. We wait in eager anticipation!