I’ve been living on the ship for two weeks now, commuting in to shore when I’ve been needed, but otherwise have been packed up and ready for departure. It’s been an odd feeling, being on the ship for this long but not really having a destination as such. This changed today however, as today marks the last day of resupply operations at Mawson. We’re going home.
With the final returning expeditioners aboard and the cargo secured it’s time to say goodbye to station.
The Aurora blew her horn, set our heading, and began making her way out of Kista Straight this evening.
A few of the station expeditioners made their way out to West Arm to see us off, waving their arms and shooting a few expired flares into the sky; a traditional Antarctic send-off. They won’t be seeing any new faces for the next nine months now, not till next season commences.
So this evening marks the beginning of the end to my Antarctic summer, as I look out from the heli deck and see the local Mawson mountain ranges getting smaller and smaller in the distance. It’s a little sad as I might never be back here again. This has been my home for a mere three months, but as the sign on West Arm says: “Its home, its Mawson“.
I now look to our journey ahead. A few days and we’ll be at Davis to pick up the summerers, then after that we make our way across the rough seas of the Southern Ocean as we head for Tasmania. In all, 18 days and I’ll be eating smashed avo at Salamanca and be back in the busy, bustling civilisation of downtown Hobart.