The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Category: Leg One


Day 0 – The beginning of the expedition. Invercargill.

Posted by Verity - 26 November 2013

The Spirit of Mawson expedition has got off to an enthusiastic start after the first meeting of all the team led by Chris Turney at the Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill last night. Everyone is raring to go with lots of ideas and plans for new and exciting scientific work. This includes an army of PhD […]

Departure from Bluff

Day 1 – Departure from Bluff

Posted by Ben - 27 November 2013

Time to head out to sea! After the whole group had assembled in the lobby of the Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill for a brief safety check we piled into a bus for the quick trip down to Bluff and the our new home for the next 11 days! As we arrived at the port, we […]


Day 1 – We’re off!

Posted by Chris - 28 November 2013

Well, we made it. After two years of dreaming and a lot of hard work, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 has finally set sail! Departing from Bluff in southern New Zealand yesterday, our ship the MV Akademik Shokalskiy headed off, packed to the gunnels with all manner of scientific gear and 41 team members, all squirrelled away on board. […]

Hardwicke Whaling station - Auckland Island

Day 2 – Auckland Islands arrival

Posted by Greg - 28 November 2013

It took 25 hours of steaming for the Akademik Shokalskiy to reach Auckland Island, the first stop on our tour of the Sub-Antarctic archipelagos. Around 6 PM we entered the unbelievably calm water of Port Ross, in the north of the island and after a quick dinner we were ready to land. As part of […]


Day 3 – Our first day of work – Auckland Islands

Posted by Umberto - 30 November 2013

For this blog post we have included some of the highlights from each teams first full day of the science program. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed doing it! Although the lake coring team didn’t actually manage to core any lakes per se today we had a great time sampling some […]


Day 4 – A full day of sub Antarctic science

Posted by Ben - 30 November 2013

Hello everyone, lots of exciting things happened today! Overnight the wind picked up significantly, by 9am this morning when Zodiacs were leaving the ship it was blowing between 20 and 30 knots! The Shokalskiy made its way into Rapanui Cove to escape the southeasterly breeze, and the numerous science teams split up from there. The […]


Day 5 – Southern Auckland Island, Coleridge Bay and bush-bashing up to Lake Speight.

Posted by Verity - 1 December 2013

What follows is a summary of the day’s work from the perspectives of the different teams: An exhausting day today but an extremely valuable one that has brought us one step closer to a better understanding of the glacial history of the Island. Today Lake Speight (a small corrie lochan above Coleridge Bay) was our […]


Day 6 – Summary of today’s work

Posted by Greg - 2 December 2013

Today we now know why this area is referred to as the roaring forties! This morning we weighed two anchors in the North Arm of Carnley Harbour. Sheltered from the worst of the gusting wind we waited out the worst of it on from the safety of the Shokalskiy in the bay. However there was […]

Port Ross copy

Day 6 – A baptism of wind

Posted by Chris - 2 December 2013

The promise of fine weather ended with my last post! I knew I was tempting fate as soon I put fingers to keyboard and waxed lyrically about the excellent conditions. Since then the Southern Ocean has come back with a vengeance, swinging from one extreme to the other. Wind, rain, hail and sleet have been […]

The wildlife of North East Harbour

Day 8 – Fog and science at Campbell Island

Posted by Umberto - 4 December 2013

After spending the night anchored safely in Perseverance Harbour in southern Campbell Island the entire group landed at the old meteorological station just to the east of Tucker Cove. From there we proceeded climbed a boardwalk path just to the east of Beeman Hill up to Mt. Lyall near the middle of the island. Our […]

Day 9 – Time to head North

Posted by Greg - 5 December 2013

We were all sad to have to leave Campbell Island and begin the journey home. The magic of Northeast Harbor from the night before still lingered as we began our 30 -hour trip to the Snares Islands. Many of us did, however, appreciate a day at sea to collect our thoughts and recuperate from the […]

Campbell Island huts Google HOA team

Day 9 – Land of the Albatrosses

Posted by Chris - 5 December 2013

A sadly neglected member of the original Australasian Antarctic Expedition team was Captain John K Davis, aka ‘Gloomy Davis’. While Mawson and his teams were operating out from the land and ice bases on Macquarie Island and the Antarctic continent, second-in-command Davis effectively led the fourth base: the expedition vessel, the Aurora. This role was […]

Snares Crested Penguins

Day 10 – A Final Hurrah

Posted by Greg - 6 December 2013

We awoke this morning to mercifully calm seas (navigable by zodiacs) and an eerie but stunning view of Snares Island rising out of the fog. Over the course of the morning it has been referred to as “the Jurassic Park island”, the “ James Bond island”, the “Lord of the Rings island”….Needless to say, it […]