SURVEY LOG : MAWSON 1965 -1966



Sunday 10 January 1965

Ship [Nella Dan] unsuccessful at berthing during early morning on account of katabatic wind. At anchor 30 miles off until 0930. Berthing 1330 - 1600. Sorted out gear at bottom of No 3 hold before lunch then brought most of it onto hatch as also was survey equipment from special cargo. Loaded equipment into DUKW 1700 - 1730. Tea ashore and then unloaded gear back on ship at 2100, then sorted out field equipment till 2330. Discussion with Syd [Kirkby] & co until 0100 next day.


Monday 11 January 1965

Up [at] 0530. Ashore with field gear 0730. [At] 1010 took off in "chopper" for Twintops. Unable to land because of throttle trouble. Returned [to] Mawson after making forced landing and changing choppers near Rumdoodle. [At] 1500 took off again with Ian McLeod in other chopper. Landed at 1545 in Twintops saddle. Geologised then erected tent near summit. Carried gear from saddle to summit then met Les Miller in helicopter at 2140. Had supper then retired.


Tuesday 12 January 1965

Contact Syd 0615. Very windy 40 kts. Noticed knock in Tellurometer dome disk, presumably from helicopter ride. Allowed plenty of time for heating up. Cavity control and phase measuring control very stiff but freed up with use. Output of battery limited due to cold (10F). Tellurometer guyed against prevailing wind (S.E.). Established ecce [survey eccentric mark] practically on line to Lucas Nunatak. Contact and postponement at 0915 and 1040. Tellie measurements 1230 - 1440. Vertical angle attempt not too successful because of high wind which persisted throughout day. Communication failed to centre party (battery trouble there) so packed up at 2010 and had tea.


Furthermore ideas and suggestions about Tellurometer. There was a lot of stiffness between the inner and outer rings (knurled) of the display [cathode ray tube] (CRT). However both rings moved together as an unit were extremely free. This meant that the outer circle had to be held on the zero mark by the left hand while the inner circle was moved by the right hand to match the display line. The modification of fitting a clamp to the outer circle was alright in principle, but would suggest two further improvements (a) that the clamp be stronger as it is quite easy to rotate the scale with the clamp. This becomes very apparent in the cold on account of the stiffness, which did not free with use, of the two circles mentioned above. (b) the clamp may be better positioned under the display as it is quite easily knocked undone by the left hand when attempting to hold the outer circle. Otherwise the machine was very satisfactory - the remote operator being able to perform his operations with the thick leather windproof mitts on and the master operator had to use woollen mitts. A word of praise for the TAS battery charger; easy to start, reliable but thought the fuel tank could be a little bigger as at present only 35 minutes charging is possible on a full tank.


Wednesday 13 January 1965

Failed to establish communication on early morning sked but got through at 1030. Spent morning checking Nikon [camera] and found that the motorised back could be operated manually. Communication again at 1200. Provided helio [heliograph] beacon to Syd [Kirkby] at NM/S/11 [at Lucas Nunatak]. 1400-1600 Tellurometer set. 1640 - 1730 Charger battery and packed gear away. Tightened up screws on helio and noticed insulator washer had cracked on TAS. Replaced with washer from Primus [stove].


Also round of terrestrials [photographs] at 1345. Panhead easily clamps onto theodolite tripod but need a cable release to prevent movement of camera during exposure due to finger pressure on shutter release button and spring loaded support on panhead. Nikon with back is also very heavy for this support.


Thursday 14 January 1965

Contacted Syd via Tellurometer at 0900. No contact with Rod [Maruff] so established listening watches in conjunction with Syd throughout day till 0600.


In meantime, used helios occasionally, built stone wall on windward side of tent and took more photographs. Very windy. Helicopters unable to take off.


Friday 15 January 1965

Confined to tent practically all day because of high winds (50 - 70 kts). Checked with Syd at 0900 & 1200. Excellent reception on time signal receiver WWVH coming in as clear as a bell.


Saturday 16 January 1965

Confined to tent [on summit Mt Twintop] all day. Sked with Syd at 0900. Drift snow beginning to build up around tent. Wind 30 - 50 kts. No sign of Rod [Maruff].


Sunday 17 January 1965

Another tent day. Sked at 0900. Checked battery charger dismantling carbie [carburettor] in process. Wind still fairly high.


Monday 18 January 1965

Confined to tent except for sked at 0900. High winds, visibility almost zero. Tried unsuccessfully to start battery charger after sked.


Tuesday 19 January 1965

Another day in bed. Sked at 0900 then checked time signal receiver. No reception on 4040 [kcs], but was able to check watch with time signals. Reduced Tellurometer measurements for rest of morning. Little done till 1800, weather on the mend. 1900 - 2000 Tellurometer measurements to Baillieu Peak (Rod) then had snack. Interrupted by 2 choppers which landed on the plateau just to the end of Twintop. Exchanged greetings and notified them of our requirements. 2115 Another Tellurometer measurement to Rod but lost him halfway through final coarse figure. Packed up after hearing nothing further (probably battery failure). Then fixed up rewind starter (sticking) on the TAS till 0040.


Wednesday 20 January 1965

Unsuccessful at communication sked at 0600. Tried again at 0900 - 1000 unsuccessfully after fixing up TAS again, but this time the generator had given up the ghost permanently. Former remarks about this apparatus now do not apply. Tried to contact Syd by helio 1030 - 1130 but could come to no understanding. Decided to restrict use of Tellurometer in order to conserve battery for emergency. No sound from Rod or Syd at 1200 so reduced yesterday's Tellurometer measurements as far as possible. Tried helio on Rod 1440 - 1600 then finished off Tellurometer reduction. Tried helio on Rod again at 1700, but clambered down the slope with Les [Miller] to meet chopper pilots shortly after. Picked up latest news, food & fuel, bringing the essentials up to the tent, leaving the rest at the foot of the scree slope. Tea STEAKS, EGGS AND ONIONS CAPPED OFF BY A CAN OF FOSTERS. This is really living.


Thursday 21 January 1965

Failed to get a contact at 0620 via receiver. Weather overcast with a lot of cloud. Little wind. Picked up Rod at 0900, who had since received fresh batteries. Verified arrangements, but decided to leave observing until Syd got on Fram Peak, where it was hoped that the conditions would be better. Tried to fix TAS [generator] but it was certainly a workshop job now. Confined to tent for rest of day but investigated effect of depression on Tellurometer measurements.


Friday 22 January 1965

Unable to understand message from Mawson at 0622 but WWVH loud and clear. Weather fairly overcast with little wind. Tried helios for a while around midday but was unsuccessful. Went investigating helicopter landing sites and collected lichens before sked at 1500 with Rod. Received latest news. Syd apparently still at Mawson. Helicopter troubles.


Saturday 23 January 1965

Watched out for helio from Rod from 0900 at two hourly intervals as per prior arrangement. Two choppers flew in [at] 1100 so went down slope and met John Farley who gave us the latest gen. They left ANGRX9 and took TAS with them. Spent most of rest of time till 0500 carting gear to summit or food around to western end of Twintop so it would be handy to airstrip. Tellurometer contact [with] Rod at 1500. Radio contact Mawson 1600. Unable to make radio contact at 2000 as per message from Syd. Tellurometer contact again to Rod 2030.


Sunday 24 January 1965

Colder day, little cloud, moderate winds. Radio sked 0645 to Mawson not too successful. Battery given up the ghost due to colder temps so was unable to contact Rod [Maruff] at 0900. Radio sked 0930 [with] Mawson successful. Tried helio on Rod 1030 - 1200 but no response. Contacted Rod at 1500 on Tellurometer and agreed to do verticals between Twintop & Fram for next hour. Sent message off to Mawson advising John Farley of this.


Monday 25 January 1965

Radio message from John Farley at 0930 advising us to keep helio on Rod. This was done alternating with taking gear down to the saddle. Helio kept going until 1500 (Tellurometer sked to Rod). Radio sked Mawson 1600, no news of Syd but Beaver [aircraft] was taking John Farley to Fram. Tellurometer contact Rod 1630 and 1700 advising us [that] contact had been made with Syd. Tellurometer running on borrowed time. Battery was left standing in the sun all day to get sufficient voltage. Provided helio to Rod 1840 - 2010. Radio sked 2015 Mawson. Final contact with Rod 2100.


Tuesday 26 January 1965

Radio sked Mawson 0930 advising Beaver calling mid afternoon despite heavy winds. Tried Rod on Tellurometer 1000 and 1030; no response due to flat battery. Tried radio to Syd 1200, still no luck. Back packed equipment down to airfield. Beaver arriving at 1430 and half the stuff still on summit. Had trouble dismantling the tent due to pegs being wedged in rock. Took off 1750 in practically impossible conditions, 40 knot drift etc. Reached Fram 1835, unable to land, so turned back to Rumdoodle landing at 2020 after circling Mawson. Beaver radio dead all the time. Turned in [at] 2330 but woken up soon after from a Snow Trac visit by OIC [Brian Woinarski] and Joe Gavaghan.


Wednesday 27 January 1965

Radio sked Rumdoodle to Mawson 0930. Took off in VW for Gwamm 1830 with faulty radio. Walked last mile into Mawson arriving at 0150. Arranged matters for D4 [tractor] to collect radio from VW at Gwamm and take up replacement radio, extra food etc. Took off 1415 arriving Rumdoodle 1540 after being bogged several times. Installed radio in Beaver and sorted out and packed gear for the morrow. Charged up battery on VW. Thank God for the 6 volt tapping. Charged battery during night.


Thursday 28 January 1965

Up at 0615. Radio contact Mawson at 0630. In aircraft at 0805. Takeoff at 0820. Fairly smooth trip landing at Fram Peak at 0950. Fairly cold wind 30 knots. Waited for Syd as per instructions received via radio. Left airfield at 1130 and met Dave Trail at 1200 near end of moraine. Waited there till 1240 while Dave collected food from airstrip. Arrived at campsite at 1350. Had brew then John [Farley] arrived from top. Choppers arrived at 1600 to pick up Dave Trail for excursion. Climbed to top [of Fram Peak] at 1700 to resume listening and watching watch. Choppers back at 1800 and Beaver in at 1930 to pick up Dave Trail. Left top at 2015 and tried to establish radio contact with Beaver 2100 but wasn't successful.


Friday 29 January 1965

Rested most of morning. Tellurometer communication with Rod at 1415 after resuming listening watch for Syd on the hour. Left for airstrip at 1600 to get fuel for generator arriving at airfield 1700. No luck, both drums bone dry. Left 10 minutes later and at 1715 Beaver flew over and airdropped sledge etc at tent. Met John on saddle at 1815 and continued station [on Fram Peak] till 2015, trying as well to fix generator. Down to camp at 2035.


Saturday 30 January 1965

Up at 0630. Tried two radio skeds at 0645 and 0930. No luck. John [Farley] fixed generator from 1000 - 1115 and sledge 1130 - 1300 making use of remains of trailing aerial wire that the pilot had left behind. On top [of Fram Peak] at 1400 and contacted Rod [on Baillieu Peak] at 1415. Back at camp 1540 - 1640 in preparation for radio sked with Beaver when it arrived. No luck so back on top at 1700. Beaver flew over [at] 1900 and landed on airstrip. Tried to contact it via radio at 1930, no luck so left camp at 2000, arriving at airfield at 2050. Decided to bring gear down provided aircraft could wait so left for camp at 2015. [From] 2200 - 2330 Carted survey gear down to saddle while John packed up camp. Wind sprang up so Beaver had to take off at 2335. Retired at 0145 after transferring all gear to camp.


Sunday 31 January 1965

Radio skeds unsuccessful at 0645 and 0930. Packed sledge 1000 - 1100 but it fell to bits when we tried to move it. [At] 1145 Left camp John with Tellurometer self with personal gear and arrived at airfield [at] 1300. Weather now very overcast and wind very cruel. Sheltered for 3 hours behind empty fuel drums, then decided to go back for tent and camping gear. Trip back very slow, both of us in exhausted condition. Reached camp at 1740 and left 1840, John with camping gear, self [Max Corry] with tent. Struggled into airfield at 2015 and erected tent.


Monday 1 February 1965

Slept till 1300. Beaver flew over at 1330 dropping message. Decided to prop at airfield. Beaver [flew] in at 1830, take off at 1855 leaving tent and camping gear intact at airfield. Landed Rumdoodle 2025, and left for Mawson on Caterpillar D4 tractor] driven by Big Bill [Edward], arriving at 2300. Grabbed a bit of food, had a yarn with Rod [Maruff] and Syd [Kirkby] and flew aboard [Nella Dan] via chopper at 2345. Packed gear in no 3 tween decks and sorted out personal gear. [Nella Dan then departed Mawson for Edward VIII Gulf]


Tuesday 2 February 1965

Checked over survey gear deficiencies and had meeting with Dr Phil [Law] at eleven. Worded message for transmission to Mawson on survey gear deficiencies and also [the] location of gear at Fram [Peak]. Easy afternoon.


Wednesday 3 February 1965

Slept most of [the] morning and sorted out personal gear. Prepared camping gear in the afternoon.


Thursday 4 February 1965

Little done on account [of the] weather. Reading in morning. Letter writing in afternoon and evening.


Friday 5 February 1965

Participated in Polaris [Snow Traveller motor toboggan] speed trial AM [on sea ice alongside Nella Dan moored in Edward VIII Gulf]. Letter writing PM. Beaver with SLK [Syd Kirkby] on board in at 1930. Discussion till 2100 then checked Tellurometer till 2230 and [then] more discussion.


Saturday 6 February 1965

Little done, no flying, bad weather. Day [spent] mainly on private matters but discussion on a few things

Extra ancillary equipment for tellurometer

1 Base 2 spares kit.

3 extra klystrons.

3 extra external battery leads.

2 extra (in addition to 2 already at Mawson) TAS battery chargers.

3 pocket hand calculating machines

3 mechanical or hand psychrometers

1 Model 8 Avometer c/w angle probes.


Sunday 7 February 1965

Checked a bit of gear in morning. Syd [Kirkby] off to Leckie [Range] just before lunch. Waited for Beaver which arrived after tea. Watched film for a short while then helped load and fuel Beaver. [At] 2035 Beaver went through ice while taxiing. [Together with the other passenger Les Miller] Clambered out through passenger door and moving to ice using wing strut. Only got right foot wet. John Whiting [pilot] tried to get contents out but plane sank further and further with his weight. Help from ship put cable on [plane] tail and eventually pontoons under wings supplemented by several planks. Ship then forced way through rotten ice to alongside Beaver and pulled it out using No 3 derrick. Beaver placed on No 3 hatch and salvage operations started. Dave Trail and Peter Cook (both geologists) checked our camping gear and hung it up to dry in no 3 hold. John Farley and self checked survey gear. Theodolite appeared undamaged, having water in the case only halfway up the levelling screws, but Tellurometer appeared to have been completely immersed as a considerable quantity of water poured out of it when retaining screws were loosened. Other equipment appeared OK but Digital Barometer and Psychrometer still have to be checked. John Farley and Dr Law cleaned up theodolite while I washed the Tellurometer in warm fresh water in the ship's gallery, removing covers and the six printed circuit boards in the process. The whole unit was left to dry in the Director's cabin. Then focussed attention on the Beaver survival kit, unpacking it and hanging the gear out to dry. Retired 0245.


Monday 8 February 1965

Started to check gear for trip to Raynor Peak after breakfast, hanging tent and sleeping bags out to dry. John Farley and Les Miller then checked remainder of camping gear while I at the request of Dr Law tried to get rid of the water which had been caught between the Cathode Ray Tube and the graticule. Eventually succeeded to a degree then replaced all units in Tellurometer and packed it away in the baggage room. Waited four hours for a faulty magneto to be replaced in one of the choppers, then took off at 1815 after having an early tea. Refuelled at Cape Abrupt and arrived Raynor at 2000. Set up camp, interrupted by choppers bringing returning geologists. Unable to transmit during 2115 sked due faulty Morse key and busted aerial indicator light. Finished off tent and then investigated radio trouble. Used spare Morse key and a light bulb to determine maximum aerial output.


Tuesday 9 February 1965

Up [at] 0830 and investigated station site, conveniently only 5 minutes from tent, the advantage of choppers which had dropped us [Les Miller and Max Corry] on the south western ridge. Heard Leckie [Range] and Nella [Dan] on radio at 0900 but had to wait until 0930 for eventual two way contact and then only for the Nella which acted as a relay. Fixed up temporary duplex mirror which was shown from 1400 as per instructions. Helio flashed from Leckie [Range] at 1735 and 1815. Turned helio off at 1815 and packed up at 1830. Radio sked 2100 stating transfer to Mueller [Peak] the next day weather permitting. Glorious day.


Wednesday 10 February 1965

Radio sked 1030. Little done 100% cloud and whiteout. Packed up gear at 1430 just in case. No result so had a bite to eat just before the radio sked at 2130.


Thursday 11 February 1965

Received news that choppers were to arrive at 1100 on 1030 sked. They arrived right on time depoting two drums of fuel. Left tent at 1245 to climb summit in order to investigate the nature of a dyke there. Ian McLeod had requested this in a letter delivered by chopper. Summit climb not very difficult, returned to tent at 1445 and packed up. Choppers in at 1730 with Rod [Maruff] and Vic Dwyer from Fram [Peak]. Also a bare amount of equipment. There was no alternative but for us to return to ship at 1810 with choppers. Arrived ship (now in new location) at 1900, had tea and discussions then started sorting out new batch of camping equipment.


Friday 12 February 1965

Completed collecting camping gear with John Farley in morning and then did a little plotting in early afternoon followed a check on survey equipment location in No 3 [hold]. Spent evening at a PGL [Dr Law] slide show.


Saturday 13 February 1965

Spent most of morning finishing the plot of ship's route Mawson - Davis - Amery Ice Shelf - Mawson.


Sunday 14 February 1965

Weather still pretty foul. Little done. Attended talk of oil exploration in afternoon and pictures in evening.


Monday 15 February 1965

Spent most of day [on Nella Dan] pre computing stars for Rod [Maruff now at Raynor Peak].


Tuesday 16 February 1965

Spent morning and early afternoon finishing off computing, then rest of afternoon helping John F[arley] finish off ship's plot Mawson - Enderby Land [actually Mawson - Kemp Land]. Dismantled tellurometer in evening and washed and dried most of [the] parts.


Wednesday 17 February 1965

Morning, dismantled rest of Tellurometer and cleaned the parts using special electrical cleaning fluid in compressed air gun. Started assembly Tellurometer in afternoon, alternating John F[arley] to get away to Mueller [Peak]. John F[arley] off at 1945 then pictures [in evening].


Thursday 18 February 1965

Up [at] 0545 for 0600 sked with field parties. Then finished off star pre comps and collected food etc for Rod [Maruff] at Raynor [Peak]. More comps [computations] after breakfast then completed assembly of Tellurometer. Syd [Kirkby] back [from Leckie Range] after tea, stowed gear away and [had] discussions.


Friday 19 February 1965

Up early with Syd [Kirkby] for another sked, then [had] a few discussions. Rod [Maruff flew] in just before tea, 'Fos' [John Farley in] about 2245.


Saturday 20 February 1965

Spent most of the day checking tellurometer with Syd and Rod.


Sunday 21 February 1965

Unpacked camp gear and sorted out survey gear for most of the day.


Monday 22 February 1965

Stored away camping gear into containers in [the] morning. Inked in a bit of the ship's plot then reduced a few observations. Stowed survey gear in preparation for transfer to Magnet Bay. Echo sounding 7pm - 10 pm.


Tuesday 23 February 1965

Reduced and checked tellurometer measurements for most of the day.


Wednesday 24 February 1965

More tellurometer work in the morning. Little done in [the] afternoon but helped Rod [Maruff] with ship's chart. Film in the evening.


Thursday 25 February 1965

Plotted ship's course in [the] morning. Little done in afternoon, ship on way to Steffanson Bay. Out on ice after tea, then "conference" in first mate's cabin.


Friday 26 February 1965

Sorted out survey gear in the morning and packed personal gear in [the] afternoon. Echo sounding and more plotting at night.


Saturday 27 February 1965

Brought gear out onto decks after breakfast on ship. Ashore [to Mawson] on first DUKW with gear for lunch. Unloaded and took gear to Rymill [hut], sorted out RTA [Return To Australia], prepared Transfer Advice, and brought gear to ship around tea. Attended film then unpacked and checked gear for [the] rest of the night.


Sunday 28 February 1965

Checked navigation equipment in morning. Rest of day [spent] either checking maps or storing away survey equipment that had been used on Onley Hill to Lucas [Nunatak] Tellurometer measurement. Ship unable to leave.


Monday 1 March 1965

A day of high wind to herald in Autumn. Ship prevented from leaving. Helped clean out Old Mess in morning. Snowrun after lunch then started painting caravan for [Autumn] field trip. After evening entertainment, [on] office work till 0100.


Tuesday 2 March 1965

Finished painting undercoat in caravan before lunch. Finished sorting out maps after lunch then meeting in OICery for field trip. Interruption caused by Hans Christian [Captain Nella Dan] deciding to leave. Determined a reference direction from West Arm for use by Geophysicist, then more office work till 0015.


Wednesday 3 March 1965

Replaced guys and wood on Rymill [Hut] till mid afternoon. Commenced painting track markers. Painted three [disassembled survey] beacons black as well.


Thursday 4 March 1965

Painting track markers till mid afternoon the measured up old mess and fixed up tractor track to Rymill. Office work till 2300.


Friday 5 March 1965

Fitted up astro compass to [D4] tractor in morning. Checked met bubble dome and elevation of met theodolite, then cleaned out field workshop caravan. Finished painting markers after tea.


Saturday 6 March 1965

Carted briquettes in for Rymill then assisted in general station cleanup in afternoon.


Sunday 7 March 1965

Day off. Slept in till dinner time then put in [the] rest of day constructing cupboard for donga.


Monday 8 March 1965

Tied flags onto trail markers till chompers, then [attended] meeting of field party. Assisted in bringing down articulated sledge to garage then clothing issue [for field trip]. Helped in erection of wind instrument in new met hut in afternoon including verticality by jigger [theodolite] and height differences between barometers.


Tuesday 9 March 1965

Finished flagging and packing of markers AM. Loading drums and repairing sledges PM.


Wednesday 10 March 1965

Repairing sledge all day with Jock McGhee and Joe Gavaghan.


Thursday 11 March 1965

Repaired sledge in morning. Printed some maps with dyeline printer. Future surveyors note ensure adequate supplies of dyeline paper are sent down each year and sufficient 1:100,000 maps to cover all requirements.


Friday 12 March 1965

Ran over navigation with OIC [Brian Woinarski] then more sledge work AM. Packed food sledge PM.


Saturday 13 March 1965

More navigation lessons then transferred petrol onto sledge. Helped move sledge onto snow then constructed box for camera. Packed camping gear for [Autumn] field trip after tea.


Sunday 14 March 1965

Finished fitting boxes into stores caravan before lunch then packed field gear and poles onto sledges. Helped mechanics replace ice growlers on D4s [tractors] after tea.


Monday 15 March 1965

Assisted [with] field caravan packing then unpacked maps and stacked equipment into Rymill. Took a sledge up to Gwamm with Bill Edward after tea.


Tuesday 16 March 1965

Very high winds (75 kts). Departure postponed. Spent day catching up on office work. Continued investigation into Ney's Method of finding Geographical Position from stellar azimuths. Sorted out maps for OIC [Brian Woinarski].


Wednesday 17 March 1965

Wind dropped. Ready to "hot the trot" after breakfast but "Orange Bastard" {a Caterpillar D4 tractor] wasn't. Track roller had to be replaced. A chance for a bit more office work. Oncoming whiteout conditions meant another day's postponement.


Thursday 18 March 1965

Overcast conditions meant whiteout on [the] plateau, hence no departure. Spent day finishing off map sorting, reorganisation of survey room in Rymill and plotting additional stars on planisphere for use in astro fix to be done later in the year.


Friday 19 March 1965

Away 0700 in a Snow Trac (Brian [Woinarski] driving) for the first leg up to Gwamm where trains had been assembled. Snow Trac had to be towed by D4 up final ice slope. Away from Gwamm at 0900 Bill [Edward] and Joe [Gavaghan] driving; glorious day. Had a couple of stops for navigation, mechanical trouble etc but only sighted a couple of markers. Set our own route through some heavy crevassing but slotted "Mr Williams". Not serious as it was winched out by "Orange B--" at the first attempt. Further holdups with winching out of soft snow but made it to Hordern Gap at 2200 hours, "Orange B--" helping "Mr W" over last stretch.


Saturday 20 March 1965

Away 0855. Followed 1958 route through Hordern Gap (ie. heading in a general direction of Lucas Nunatak). Went out about a mile then cut back to 1962 route just before 62/10. Previous tracks and markers pretty evident from this point. Had slight trouble navigation wise around Twintops fuel depot at 1730 getting in at 1800. Route out from depot is devoid of markers for about 4 miles. Hit or miss navigation succeeded in arriving between two metal markers and flags both of which had been blown down. Again old tracks gave the game away. Camped 5 miles from Twintops. Temperatures now dipping.


Sunday 21 March 1965

Clear day wind up to 30 kts. Visibility poor at first. Followed old tracks and markers covering 10 miles for lunch. Plenty of markers but only the 1962 ones were consistent on distance. Going [was] fairly slow because of soft snow. Camped on Mawson side of Depot A at 2140. Temperature down to -31F.


Monday 22 March 1965

Up [at] 0515. Herman [Nelson heater] trouble and frozen batteries delayed departure till 1015. Found [that] we were closer to Depot A than anticipated arriving there a[n] hour later. Bill [Edward] felt that the route had been changed a lot by 1964 trips.

Dropped fuel and food and delayed by welding repairs to D4. Left [at] 1500. Navigation [was] easy until Joe [Gavaghan] slipped me some field rum. It was enough to make a man go crazy and so did the navigation. Finally made camp 11 miles [SE] from depot A.


Tuesday 23 March 1965

Had a good run till lunch at 62T10 at 1300. Delayed 5 hours by more welding this time to the living caravan. Pushed on following last years wandering tracks till 2100 hours. Had been able to follow markers till sunset at 2000 hours.


Wednesday 24 March 1965

Away [at] 0910 but drift set in soon after departure. Lunch at 62T12 after being misled in following last year's tracks. (They apparently had made a new trail all together). Pressed on passing a couple of drums then we lost the markers and so stopped for the night at 1540 hours - drift limiting visibility to a few yards.


Thursday 25 March 1965

No movement because of drift limiting visibility to a few yards. However the rest made up for the previous hard days. Had terrific tea thanks to (Father) Ted Foley.


Friday 26 March 1965

Drift eased a little mid morning to allow us to pick up the marker drums some 200 yards away, so decided to roll. So the navigation hadn't been bad after all but not quite good enough in the conditions. Departed 1530 and had a good run to 2015, 9 miles from Depot B. The 1964 party had apparently put in stakes a little to the north of [the] original route between T15 & T16 but otherwise the route was fairly well marked. Had a view of Depot Peak and a first look of a Fata Morgana (inverted image) of the same peak.


Saturday 27 March 1965

Departed [at] 0845. Track fairly well defined although a couple of deficiencies exist just before the depot [Depot B]. The depot and the associated snow mound are clearly visible from a considerable distance. Reached Depot [B] at 1140. Away [at] 1400 after dropping fuel and food and leaving one Norwegian sledge there to be picked up on the return journey. Set course and laid route of 3 stakes and one drum at mile [1200 metre] intervals. Thus drums were placed every 3 miles. A large ice dome exists to the west of the new route while of course Depot Peak lies to the East. Covered 14 miles south of the Depot [Depot B] before stopping for the night.


Sunday 28 March 1965

Away [at] 0850 and soon Summers Peak (Stinear Nunataks) came into view although we had seen reflections of the Nunataks for the last couple of days.

Made good progress (24 miles) over smooth but soft snow. Camped at 2000 hours.


Monday 29 March 1965

Drifted in all day, wind over 30 knots. Easy day. Had a "party" on FIELD RUM in evening.


Tuesday 30 March 1965

Drift eased a little around 1100, so party prepared for departure. All "hot to trot" at 1515 but drift suddenly descended and departure postponed for another day.


Wednesday 31 March 1965

Drift again prevented any movement. Having trouble with batteries which are freezing up etc. Future parties should always take a hand wanker [generator] for radio on any journey for emergencies. Wind 35 - 40 kts. Temp -30 [F].


Thursday 1 April 1965

The only fools around were us but as a concession the weather eased [at] about 0930 so eventually got rolling at 1320. Went another six miles before establishing depot, 44 miles from Depot B. Unable to get astrofix but read angles to 4 peaks instead. Approximate position [is] 7 miles north of Summers Peak. Named depot Rum Depot - no rum left there but in memory of last Monday nights' efforts. Drift set in on homeward run but we were on a broad highway and so had no trouble in going another 8 miles north. Temperatures low, down to -45F, just a mere 77 below freezing.


Friday 2 April 1965

Woke to find temperatures still lower, -46F (just a mere degree but it all counts). On our way at 0930. Perfect weather, fresh tracks and [a] well marked route meant faster speeds. Refuelled at 1500 hours at 18 mile drum. Mr Williams showed signs of cracking under the strain; using oil at an alarming rate. Finally reached Depot B at 2100 hours after a 36 mile run. If we keep this rate up we will be back in Mawson Wednesday night.


Temperatures in low thirties [to] low forties. More inverted images (Fata Morgana) of Depot Peak and Stinear [Nunataks]. With this effect and at certain angles, Depot Peak looks like the latest Yank nuclear submarine.


Saturday 3 April 1965

Clock failure meant a late rising at 0730. Spent much time manipulating drums and sledges. Finally loaded one of the Norwegian [sledges] onto an articulated [sledge]. Left Depot B at 1330 but had to stop a little later for mechanical adjustments. We also found that Orange B had been given too much of the load to pull, so more sledge manipulation required at 1400 [hours]. Started dropping empty fuel drums at the badly marked places along the route but made a couple of mistakes which we now know [and] will rectify on the Spring trip. Chalked up 18 miles for [the] day, stopping at 2000 hours.

Temps -21 to -31F. Wind approx 20 kts.


Sunday 4 April 1965

More sledge manipulation so the fuel sledge was immediately behind one of the tractors. More time lost on repairs to winch rope but got away at 0930. Did some driving today. Ignoring old tracks, we tried to go direct between existing markers as practically perfect visibility existed. The purpose of this was to put in intermediate track markers. This took a little time, but any time spent on this work will reap considerable benefit in the future. Unable to continue this work after 1700 as the track here was uncertain. Stopped [at] 1945 after travelling 32 miles for the day. Temp -25 to -30. Mild winds.


Monday 5 April 1965

Drift and whiteout almost prevented departure but we could just see old tracks and the next marker. Away 0820 stopping to dig out old drums or dropping empties at existing canes or stakes. Reached Depot A at 1150 hours, unloaded food and picked up four empty fuel drums. Better use for them on the track than lying around the depot. Left depot at 1255 after having lunch. Managed to get into 4th gear as we were running downhill with a light load. Drift still heavy but followed old tracks easily. Had to walk in front for last hour to keep the trains "on the rails" (but really it was an excuse for warming up, the most effective means to do so). Finally stopped [at] 1950, 4 miles south of Twintops fuel depot having covered a record distance of 42 miles. Temps in the [-] 20's caused by the drop in elevation. Soon we may have the pleasure of above zero [F] temperatures.


Tuesday 6 April 1965

On the trot at 0910. Poor weather and visibility and also drift necessitated 2 men out in front as pathfinders. Dropped off a couple of markers en route to depot reaching there around 1000. Repositioned fuel and had early lunch waiting for improved conditions some 3 miles out of depot. Moved on at 1400, visibility and conditions just good enough to allow us to get into top gear. Again dropped markers off at spots where we had gone wrong on the outward journey. Got to Hordern Gap around 1730 nearly slotting Orange B twice. The idea here is apparently to keep well to the north west and west of the gap. Camped at our fuel drop in the gap. Went out to recce the route, found three markers and old tracks so had a ding in [the] evening to celebrate our last night out. The other Norwegian sled had also been loaded. Retired to bed full of chicken brown liquor and other goodies reputatively [packed] for Joe's birthday in a week's time, but that has all gone by the boards.


Wednesday 7 April 1965

Light hangover meant later rising time. Rolling at 1010. Rode on sledge most of the day (as I [Max Corry] also had done yesterday) recording markers etc. Beautiful day and found most of the existing markers where I thought they may have been when we were in this region the first day out. Had excellent run over firstly snow and then blue ice and lunched near Russian airfield. Met by welcoming party (5 dogs, Bob L[achel] and Laurie T[urnbull]) halfway to Gwamm followed by a Snow Trac with Keith [Watson] and Peter Mac (McGrath] on board. Fitted chains on artic [sledges] for run down ice slope reaching Mawson [at] 1700. Good trip but even better to be back in "civilisation" again.


Thursday 8 April 1965

Up [at] 1000, unpacked personal clothing then went for a run up to Gwamm in Snow Trac with Keith [Watson]. Unloaded field gear in the afternoon and started sorting out the mess (called navigation tables) in the evening.


Friday 9 April 1965

Office all day mainly on navigation tables.


Saturday 10 April 1965

In office most of the day on star predictions for forthcoming astro[nomical observation] at Bechervaise [Island].


Sunday 11 April 1965

Finished off start predictions in the morning, then prepared for night watch (laundry etc).


Monday 12 April 1965

Slept in till lunchtime then prepared gear for astro. Unable to get any illumination on the crosshairs of the [Wild] T3 [theodolite] so may have to use torch for evening work.


Tuesday 13 April 1965

Fixed up survey camera in morning. Future users please note FILM SIZE IS 620 (SIX TWENTY). Participated in Polaris test in afternoon and packed some of gear in the late afternoon.


Wednesday 14 April 1965

Had trouble with Polaris so didn't get away will 1030 arriving top of Bechervaise [Island] 1115. Unable to see targets on Goldsworthy [Ridge] or Painted Hill (painted wrong colour). Cold -3F but managed to get a circum meridian on α Centauri, Dr A S[cott] Cameron acting as booker. Stopwatch trouble prevented any further work so got back to Mawson at 1700. A word on the Polaris, quite impressive first up hauling sledge, gear and man (some 400 lbs) at about 6 mph. Easy to handle but don't know whether it could pull 1500 lb as maintained by the makers.


Thursday 15 April 1965

Revised star predictions as the graphs prepared for alt[itude] az[imuth] time wasn't accurate enough, especially in [the] prime vertical. Also some of the predicted stars proved to be too dull. Then reduced observations pe [(probable error)] of 1."7 but a large discrepancy between this and the previous value is probably caused by the villain of Antarctic surveying, refraction. However time will tell.


Friday 16 April 1965

Unpacked and stored away field gear used on Autumn trip, then started sorting out and painting crampons.


Saturday 17 April 1965

Finished off crampon painting and assisted down in Garage on Snow Trac work in morning. Afternoon officially off. Went out seal hunting with Jock McGhee, Don Allison and Pat Bensley on Polaris and dog sledge. Now convinced Polaris won't pull 1500 lbs. Also not very satisfactory on loose snow covering on ice, but otherwise not bad.


Sunday 18 April 1965

Commenced writing article of 1965 survey program for mid winter's magazine. Fitted carrying handle and new latches to map case in afternoon then fixed position of stake up past melt pool for Dr Cameron.


Monday 19 April 1965

Assisted Keith Watson with Snow Trac modifications during [the] morning, trying my hand at welding in the process. Painted survey equipment in afternoon and up to 2000 when stopped for home movies. Near blizzard at night.


Tuesday 20 April 1965

Left Mawson 1020 with OIC [Brian Woinarski] for Flatoy [Bechervaise Island] for astro[nomical] obs[ervations]. Able to see Painted Hill but not Goldsworthy [Ridge]. Decided not to risk it and used drum on Gibbney [Island] [for an azimuth reference object] instead. Only able to do 4 pointings on α Crucis and 12 on α Centauri as azimuth stars in Ney's method. Picked up Fomaulhaut in later afternoon but cloud prevented any observations.


Wednesday 21 April 1965

Discussed with OIC [Brian Woinarski] after breakfast the revised field trips program, he accepting in full the new program, although some discussion eventuated over departure date for spring trip.


Then checked out wet cell batteries for tellurometer and found one U.S. [unserviceable]. Put the remaining two on charge at garage. Tried stopwatch calibrations, but unable to get a satisfactory conclusion. Am having trouble with stopwatch, one has the minute hand U.S. while the other two it seems either stick at odd times or if not, do not appear to keep a constant rate. [Chris] Armstrong apparently had [the] same trouble in 1959.


Started astro reductions mid afternoon but [Facit mechanical] calculating machine jammed almost immediately. Spent rest of afternoon trying to sort out the many mechanisms. Finally touched the right one and the machine was in business again. Although of course there is the alternative use of logs [logarithm tables], perhaps the Surveyors could be given a short course on the Facit. Most times I have seen the Facits jam, they have been fixed in a couple of minutes and the effort today emphasised these thoughts.

Chased all over the station for replacement globes for torch. All station stock are of the screw variety. Finally fixed up a system using parts from radio hut, but it looks like a new torch very soon though. It doesn't make sense to [have] torches out of commission because of the lack of suitable globes especially when torches are at a premium here.


Thursday 22 April 1965

Weather getting worse. Temperatures +10F but wind around 30 knots, causing moderate drift. Fixed up heater in Rymill [hut] after breakfast then repainted some of [the] survey equipment. Computed astro out for rest of [the] day. Final result useless as apparently [the] stopwatch had struck twice and restarted again during the pointings. However [the] pointings in general amongst themselves were remarkably consistent but absence of reliable time ruined it. Now don't have a reliable split hand watch on [the] station. Probably [will] have to use stopwatch and Nardin [chronometer] reading the latter to nearest five seconds to guard against [stopwatch] sticking. [Calculating] machine jammed again but only a couple of minutes work required to remedy the situation again emphasising the point made yesterday.


Friday 23 April 1965

Picked up batteries from garage and put up polar pyramid tents to dry in old mess. Then checked out chronometer at I.P.S.O. [Ionospheric Prediction Service Organisation]. Helped OIC [Brian Woinarski] reorganise clothing store; this will prove to be a big job but it is quite convenient as present weather is [a] blizz[ard] and so [the] clothing store is relatively warm; when the weather improves the OIC becomes the Surveyor's booker. An ideal example of cooperation. Checked tellurometers during late afternoon in Rymill. All OK but will have to build boxes to hold headphones, battery leads etc.

Made up some KOH for nickel cadmium batteries after tea.


Saturday 24 April 1965

Weather still in the blizz[ard] status. Working on clothing store all day. Work very time consuming especially sorting articles into sizes and constructing new shelves. However overall things aren't going too bad[ly]. Weather improved around tea time.


Sunday 25 April 1965

ANZAC day celebrations ruined any good intentions as far as work concerned. Still very windy.


Monday 26 April 1965

Worked on clothing store all day. Played around with battery charger in evening besides attending King Ted's [Ted Foley] slide tour of Europe.


Tuesday 27 April 1965

In clothing store all day. Pictures in evening.


Wednesday 28 April 1965

In clothing store till afternoon chompers, then made up set of leads for charging more than one nickel cad[mium] battery at once.


Thursday 29 April 1965

Completed painting survey equipment in old mess. Drift setting in towards [the] end of the day.


Friday 30 April 1965

Fixed up clothing till morning tea, then started making four metal boxes for tellurometer and battery chargers in garage. Pictures in evening.


Saturday 1 May 1965

Went over inventory of A class items with OIC [Brian Woinarski] until ham sked with Australia at 1200. Very good, reception perfect. Did numerous odd jobs in afternoon including cutting canvas for level staffs covers, fitting lower temperature thermometers to psychrometers and bringing up survey gear from old mess.


Sunday 2 May 1965

Another ham sked just before lunch followed by sked with Wilkes at 1430. Had discussion with Allan McLaren (Glaciologist) on tellurometers. Apparently [he] had trouble with [signal] absorption using 42" reflectors but didn't use towers. Interesting. Checked on beaconing material for rest of [the] afternoon.


Monday 3 May 1965

Surveyed connection NM/S/76 Mawson Survey Office to Auroral Parallactic Camera location with assistance of John Bennett & OIC [Brian Woinarski]. Started making canvas covers for levelling staffs in late afternoon. Ran over theodolite and tellurometer with John Bennett after tea.


Tuesday 4 May 1965

Continued on covers till morning tea then loaded sledge and checked Polaris [Snow Travelled motorised toboggan]. Took off at 1315 with OIC [Brian Woinarski]. Stared tellurometer 1430 at Bechervaise [Island], John B[ennett] & Ted Foley at other end. Did 13 cavities using internal battery. John had trouble with theodolite so verticals not too successful. Darkness and battery failure caused abandonment before completion of second Tellurometer measurement. Back at Mawson at 1800. Checked batteries and tellurometer after tea. Tellurometer is drawing 5 amps much in excess of the 3 quoted in [the] manual hence limited operating time using internal batteries. Electrolyte level seems to have fallen in internal batteries but discharged another battery in Rymill after tea & this level remained practically constant.


Wednesday 5 May 1965

Blizzard all day. Dismantled MRA3 No 360 in morning and checked power supplies. With H.T. [high tension] removed, current from battery was only 1.4 amps. Checked two diodes and one may be suspect. Will check again later, this time with Electronic Engineer [Greg Martin]. Reduced tellurometer measurement for rest of the day.


Thursday 6 May 1965

Finished off cover for levelling staffs in morning. Repainted trig beacons [(materials)] black then searched unsuccessfully for P.S.M. [permanent survey marks] in hanger and Rymill.


Friday 7 May 1965

Office work in morning. Night watch duties occupied afternoon and night.


Saturday 8 May 1965

Up for dinner than started loading sledge for Onley Hill. Started checking tellurometers in evening with Greg Martin (Electronics Engineer).


Sunday 9 May 1965

Little done, day off, but finished checking tellurometer in afternoon with Greg [Martin (Electronics Engineer)]. Power supply transistors & rectifying diodes OK output current high in every position. Some voltages on pin PL7 also high. Sent cable to Natmap [Commonwealth Division of National Mapping] regarding this. Blizzard started in evening.


Monday 10 May 1965

Blizzard all day. Spent day making additions to survey cupboard in Rymill. Strong wind resulted in successful rescue attempt of glaciology caravan on sea ice [to the west of West Arm].


Tuesday 11 May 1965

Blizzard continued all day. 24 [hour] wind run being 1196 miles. Glaciologist [Gunter Weller] had narrow escape for where his caravan on West Bay stood on 2 feet of solid ice IS NOW OPEN WATER. A lesson to all would-be sea ice travellers especially us. Never before at Mawson has so much ice been broken up, another phenomena in this year of freak happenings. Sea ice break out has upset plans for further tellurometer work. After waiting four weeks for mechanical repairs to be effected with perfect ice conditions, this happens when we are just ready to go. Tried to work out alternatives to survey program so at least the auroral parallactic camera baseline can be established without much delay. Finished writing report on survey and navigational aspects of the autumn trip. Spent remained of day and up to 2130 checking the tellurometer quadrilateral Rookery [Islands], Bechervaise [Island], Painted Hill & Goldsworthy [Ridge]. Something strange here, the angles calculate from bearings given in the summaries are only plane angles ie both triangles add up to 17959'59", the spheroidal angles differs from these values by up to 3 seconds [of arc].


Wednesday 12 May 1965

Up 0700 to check weather. Senior met man [Gordon Afflick] advised against trip but it was a fatal mistake as it turned out a glorious day. Spent most of the day winding up ropes left from the struggle on Monday which had been dumped on the sledge we were to use for field trips. Station meeting after dinner and took survey gear from garage to one of the caravans.


Thursday 13 May 1965

Office and general work in morning. Did two sets of horizontal angles at each of NM/S/55 [West Arm] and Nm/S/76 [Mawson Survey Office] in order to fix the position of NM/S/76 for parallactic camera positioning. This extra work is caused by being unable to go to Bechervaise [Island] because of the sea ice break up. Reduced observations after tea.


Friday 14 May 1965

Office work and checking equipment in the morning. Station photo immediately after lunch, then did tellurometer and verticals on West Arm to Mawson line, John Bennett operating other unit. Unable to get second measurement as the display shifted with time. This was verified at both ends of the line and may have been due to the rapid cooling of the air after sunset. Both oven lamps were cycling, shift occurred on several crystals and on both instruments. Battery readings on both instruments in excess of twenty.


Saturday 15 May 1965

In office all day reducing yesterday's observations and adjusting the triangle Bechervaise [Island], West Arm, Mawson.


Sunday 16th May 1965

Continued comps 1030 - 1230 finishing adjustments and computing positions. Started preparing for trip in afternoon.


Monday 17 May 1965

Up 0700 and loaded sledge. Finished loading 0930. Away 1045 arriving near Fischer [Nunatak] at 1215. Left sledge and recce for route up. Southern and eastern side of Onley [Hill] surrounded by deep wind scour so started bashing up western ridge. at 1315. Route dangerous, plenty of steep scree, luckily most of us had climbing experience. Depoted gear (beacon, tools & theodolite) a little over halfway up at 1545 reaching Snow Trac at 1615. Reached [Fischer] caravan at 1645. Took a while to get organised. Contact at 1930 sked with Mawson. To bed, five [Max Corry, Keith Watson, John Bennett, Scott Cameron and Gordon Afflick) in a two berth caravan is rather crowded.


Tuesday 18 May 1965

Away from caravan at 1115 picking up gear on Onley [Hill] at 1215 and reaching summit at 1320. Rather limited as for beacon position but placed it over old piton (presumably's Rod's [Maruff] eccentric [station mark]). Rock was too rotten around the cairn. Finished erecting beacon at 1540 and reached Snow Trac at 1635 and back to caravan at 1700 where Gordon [Afflick] had prepared an excellent tea. Contact (radio) with Mawson in evening.


Wednesday 19 May 1965

The good weather, which had smiled upon us for the previous two days, was no longer with us. High winds (40 kts) caused us to abandon the day's program. As the weather appeared to be deteriorating we decided after an inspection to the auroral camera site, to head back to Mawson at 1400 arriving exactly an hour later. Left all survey gear in the caravan with boxes tied onto the sledge which was also left there. Cable to Natmap in evening.


Thursday 20 May 1965

High wind today made us give away any idea of continuing at Fischer [Nunatak]. Made up canvas covers for tellurometer manuals in the morning. The existing plastic type proved to be very brittle at -20F. Unpacked gear from the field in afternoon and checked beaconing materials.


Tried to erect a polar pyramid tent after afternoon tea for senior Radio Tech [Laurie Turnbull] to repair the main transmitter control cable which had been severed by the tractor. After an unsuccessful attempt, Laurie decided that it was easier although longer to connect up the new emergency cable. Did two rounds of night watch for Radio Tech who was engaged on cable repairs and started preparations for labelling of movie films (a station job).


Friday 21 May 1965

Weather deteriorating, blizzard on the way. Continued with station work till dinnertime then read old field reports, checked photographs etc of likely survey points in Framnes Mountains.


Saturday 22 May 1965

Blizzard all day. Continued investigations of the Framnes Mountains.


Sunday 23 May 1965

Day off but made centre poles for two new survey beacons in afternoon.


Monday 24 May 1965

Wind practically nil but heavy snow laden clouds decided us against venturing out. Hunted through 1964 Station log and outward cables for details of 1964 survey program, necessitated by absence of 1964 survey diary. Went up to Gwamm after morning tea with Glaciologist [Gunter Weller] to check on weather at [Mt] Henderson. Drift obscured all the mountain. Down to Mawson for lunch then did a flight of levels for Met. to determine height of their radiation instruments. Made up two new base pins for new beacons in late afternoon & after tea.


Tuesday 25 May 1965

Weather still unsettled although little wind. Office work in morning then helped Radio Tech [Laurie Turnbull and John Gordon] erect a tent for cable repairs. Rest of afternoon occupied in making new guys for new beacons.

Referred to references after tea about tellurometer traverse work in polar regions, it looks as if two elevated towers for Tellurometers are required as the minimum clearance above the surface should be about five feet.


Wednesday 26 May 1965

Slight drift all day. Worked on new beacons and guys all day till 2230, although modified the phone position in Survey Office [in Rymill] (installed during my absence in the afternoon) after tea for a short while.


Thursday 27 May 1965

Decided to risk trip to Fischer [Nunatak] although slight ground drift was starting to build up. Left 1040 with Keith [Watson], John [Bennett] & Scott [Cameron]. Dropped Gunther [Weller] at Gwamm then continued. Drift increased but we pressed on reaching Fischer caravan about 1200. Remained in caravan for rest of day. Just heard Mawson on 1930 sked but could not establish definite communication.


Friday 28 May 1965

Weather now taken a turn for the worst. Winds at a guess at least 100 miles per hour and visibility about three feet. No-one ventured outside the caravan all day. Did what every previous party has done in similar circumstances [ie sleeping bag bashing].


Saturday 29 May 1965

Weather still just as bad. Keith [Watson] ventured out at the end of a rope to check the Snow Trac and get ice for water. As with yesterday, [we] did not attempt radio sked as sparks half an inch long were jumping off the aerial as a result of the heavy drift.


Sunday 30 May 1965

Weather easing a bit. Dug out pit [caravan] and replenished food supplies in the caravan. Just heard Mawson at 1930 sked but they weren't readable on account of the drift static.


Monday 31 May 1965

Although overcast, decided to get back to Mawson as [the] wind and drift [had] eased. After clearing snow from Snow Trac and fixing up troubles, got away at 1440. Practically a complete whiteout, John [Bennett] walking in front till reaching the blue ice. Unintentionally make a grand tour of the Mawson - Henderson region hitting a couple of ice domes. Just beat the fading light home reaching Mawson at 1520. Unloaded vehicle and wrote up diary after tea.


Tuesday 1 June 1965

Office work in the morning. Started building extra boxes for the nickel cadmium batteries in afternoon. Continued till 2200.


Wednesday 2 June 1965

Weather touch and go. Finally at 1130 decided against going to Fischer. Finished off boxes in afternoon.


Thursday 3 June 1965

Survey party (Keith Watson, John Bennett, Scott Cameron and Max Corry) left Mawson in Snow Trac at 1030. Arrived Fischer [caravan] 1130. Left Fischer 1150. Keith and self [Max] at Onley summit 1320. Pleasant day. Had slight trouble with Tellurometer but managed 7 cavities [carrier frequencies] to Fischer (John & Scott). Nickel cadmium not lasting very long although were getting satisfactory measurements on battery readings of 16. (Check later of batteries revealed voltage still exceeding 12). Did three sets verticals and packed up at 1515 leaving theodolite on top. Back at caravan at 1630. Contacted Mawson 1930 via radio.


Friday 4 June 1965

Left Fischer [caravan] 1100. Keith [Watson] & self [Max Corry] reached summit of Onley [Hill] but gave it away at 1210 because of high wind & poor visibility - we had had difficulty yesterday under better conditions. Back at caravan 1300. Left 1445. Mawson 1630 after considerable trouble with sledge on icy slopes. Had one casualty this trip J.B. [John Bennett] who sprained ankle after finishing Thursday's work. Poor fellow not having much luck [with] frostbitten hands the trip before. Luckily this time accident occurred very close to the caravan and he had as companion Dr Scott [Cameron] of all people.


Saturday 5 June 1965

Painted film cases before morning tea as part of station duties then unloaded sledge till dinner. Participated in a "skeet shot" then made up poster for Cook [Dick Ritchie] for the evening's meal set out as a cafe. Good time had by all.


Sunday 6 June 1965

Slept all morning then left 1340 for Rumdoodle in Snow Trac with Allan Moore (driving) Don Allison and Greg Martin. Arrived Rumdoodle caravan at 1520 after travelling too far east of the recognised route and having minor troubles with slots. Unpacked Doctor's medical kit into drawer in caravan and left 1530. Navigation right on the dot on return journey and old tracks still clearly defined allowed us to arrive back at Mawson at 1630. After pictures, at 2200 started work on film cupboard for Rymill & worked till midnight.


Monday 7 June 1965

Weather still holding - nearly perfect. Left Mawson 1110 in Snow Trac with Keith Watson and Peter McGrath. Reached top of Painted Hill at 1240 after successfully proving the improved route from the east. We turned off the main track near the Russian airstrip and headed around the northern end of the range keeping at least a mile away from it. We then went up a gentle snow slope nearly to the saddle north of Painted Hill (careful wind scour). The resulting ridge climb appears much easier than the one from the southern saddle used by [David] Carstens [Mawson 1962 Surveyor]. Repainted beacon black but unable to see Bechervaise [Island] or Goldsworthy [Ridge] but Onley [Hill] painted black stood out well. The sight to Bechervaise was directly into the sun and apparently Goldsworthy target blended into the background. We convinced ourselves that black was better by the ease we were able to distinguish Painted Hill from a distance after we repainted it compared with the previous dayglo. Haze also restricted visibility and so were forced to pack up at 1340 arriving back at Mawson 1510. Continued work on cupboard till tea and after tea till midnight although stopped for nearly two hours to attend slide show.


Tuesday 8 June 1965

Continued painting cupboard and battery boxes till 1100 then prepared for trip to Flatoy [Bechervaise Island]. Left Mawson 1310 on foot with Mick Poulton for Bechervaise [Island] arriving there at 1345. Did one round of horizontals [horizontal angles] at ECCE 2 to Painted Hill, Onley Hill and Mawson. Just able to see Painted Hill target. Painted the southern sector of Bechervaise beacon black. Back Mawson 1520. Took Snow Trac halfway up Gwamm slope with Keith Watson, then painted second coat on cupboard and boxes till tea. Wrote names on some of [the movie] films (station duty) 2030 to 2315.


Wednesday 9 June 1965

Installed film cupboard in Rymill cold porch and sorted out remaining films in morning, painting patches in afternoon. Started computations and reduced survey observations. Second coat of paint on films after pictures.


Thursday 10 June 1965

Beautiful day, no wind, no cloud. Left Mawson at 1050 with OIC [Brian Woinarski] and Greg Martin (self [Max Corry] driving in Snow Trac no. 8. Arrived foot of Onley [Hill] 1135. Reached summit with Greg 1220, Brian taking Snow Trac to Fischer & erecting tripod over camera site. Did two sets horizontals Painted Hill & Welch Island (Bechervaise [Island] target not visible) and one set to Fischer camera site. Finished 1345 and strolled down ridge to meet Brian [Woinarski] at 1445. Back [at] Mawson (this time with no navigation blues at last) at 1540. Painted named on films and reduced the day's observations. Quite satisfactory but should be improved when [Wild] T3 [theodolite is] used.


Friday 11 June 1965

Left Mawson 1050 in Snow Trac with Don Allison. Arrived foot of Painted Hill 1230 but conditions [were] not the best due 100% cloud, moderate wind and whiteout. Decided to give it away for the day and arrived back at Mawson 1415. On computations for rest of day and continued till 2200.


Saturday 12 June 1965

Very overcast and dull. Spent day in survey office and met. hut reducing observations and investigating various aspects of humidity determination in low temperatures.


Sunday 13 June 1965

Most of day occupied with night watch and hut slushy duties although went out to Bechervaise with Brian [Woinarski] & Don Allison straight after lunch. Unable to see beacons on Onley Hill and Painted Hill due haze and poor light. Finished off computations during the night.


Monday 14 June 1965

Up at 1000 after 4 hours sleep, due being night watch all night. Left Mawson 1115 for Painted Hill with Dave Carter in Snow Trac. [On] summit at 1245. Started observing horizontals 1255 with John Bennett & the Doc [Scott Cameron] providing a light at Bechervaise [Island]. Doubt whether Bechervaise target would be visible at any time from the plateau. Finished observing 1410 and arrived back at Mawson 1540. Big celebration in late afternoon and evening due to Queen's Birthday, Glaciologist's [Gunter Weller] birthday, the arrival back of the Fischer dog teams and of course the successful completion of the auroral baseline surveys just eight days before midwinter. Probably a record, due of course to the weather. Senior weatherman [Gordon Afflick] says that this present year is far out in front of all the years for amount of good weather.


Tuesday 15 June 1965

In office all day till 2230 computing out survey observations.


Wednesday 16 June 1965

Computed out obs[ervations] all day except for a two hour run with the dogs to Arrow Island also Pat [Bensley], Dave [Carter] & Peter Baggott. Excellent performance by the dogs (Pat later confirmed that it was the best yet [this year]).


Thursday 17 June 1965

All day in garage making up two additional beacons for Depot Peak and Lucas Nunatak. Worked till 2200.


Friday 18 June 1965

Practically finished the beacon vanes at teatime after working all day.


Saturday 19 June 1965

Odd jobs all day such as trip reports, equipment transferred to Rymill and cleaning walls of mess. Also followed up ideas for elevating instruments for Spring.


Sunday 20 June 1965

Started a week of slushy [duties], finished at 2100.


Monday 21 June 1965

Slushy all day till 2000.


Tuesday 22 June 1965

Midwinter's day. Copped slushy. Worked from 0730 with a break at 1030 for social sked with Macquarie Island. Dinner started 1400. Good night had by all.


Wednesday 23 June 1965

Day off. Slept till 1600 then at it again.


Thursday 24 June 1965

Back to normal slushy duties all day.


Friday 25 June 1965

Slushy duties all day.


Saturday 26 June 1965

Slushy duties.


Sunday 27 June 1965

Sunday cook.


Monday 28 June 1965

Office work and odd jobs till mid afternoon including helping take equipment down to transmitter, then worked till 2100 on metal boxes for tellurometer.


Tuesday 29 June 1965

More odd jobs and night watch duties. Made up guy attachment points for beacons overnight.


Wednesday 30 June

In bed till 1230 after night watch then more work on beacons and office work.


Thursday 1 July 1965

Welded lugs onto one of [the] beacon poles then painted whole beacon. Started packing field equipment in preparation for dog trip to Gibbney [Island].


Friday 2 July 1965

Continued preparing equipment for field trip. Started calculations in mid afternoon but soon had calculating machine troubles. On opening machine up a loose spring was observed causing jamming of the setting up register. A couple of hours of trial and error, disconnecting various arms in turn gave way to success and [the] machine was once more in business. Three times now, Natmap's policy has been ignored for the better; a fact to be borne in mind especially down South.


Saturday 3 July 1965

Most of day on office calculations although considerable time was spent fixing up Rymill shower drain and the resultant water. Received cable from Natmap advising of summer program.


Sunday 4 July 1965

Blizzard all day - day off but did a few computations in afternoon.


Monday 5 July 1965

Office (computations) in morning; cleaned out Rymill drain again in afternoon then went for run with Bob Lachal and pups around Jocelyn Islands. Pups went well for first run. Finished off day by loading sledges for Gibbney Island trip.


Tuesday 6 July 1965

Finished packing sledges and left for Gibbney Island with 2 seven dog teams. Personnel Scott Cameron, Pat Bensley, Keith Watson, Peter Baggott, Bob Lachal and Max Corry. A relatively fast trip but had to change lead dog (Ian instead of Sputnick) near Bechervaise Island. Most of [the] way was bare ice but a couple of pressure ice patches existed near Gibbney [Island]. Route via Arrow & Wigg Islands. Arrived Gibbney 1450 and decided to camp on Northern end of the eastern sector of island (Later reconnaissance revealed that this was probably the only site on the island.). No wind made tent pitching easy for the six novices. Scott & self [Max] searched the island for remains of depot and successfully locating it without any food on a rock off the north east corner of the main island returned to camp to find that Peter [Baggott] had made contact with Mawson at 1630. Practically sheer cliffs surround Gibbney [Island] on all sides except the east but perhaps the most interesting feature was the large amount of penguin remains and guano. The flat top of the island is like a sponge rubber cushion to walk on.


Wednesday 7 July 1965

Up at 1010 after spending a rather unpleasant night. Heavy clouds decided us to make tracks as soon as possible and so left at 1245 without having much to eat. Left food and fuel near our camping spot for use by future trips. Ian as lead dog kept heading out to sea so interchanged him with Sputnick again and the rest of the journey was rather uneventful except for repair of broken sledge and the last few miles where both teams and men were tired! A strong wind had sprung up. Met a Polaris (John H[aigh], John B[ennett] & Peter Mac [McGrath] near Arrow [Island]. Struggled into Mawson at 1610.


Thursday 8 July 1965

Wrote up Gibbney report then [had] discussion with OIC [Brian Woinarski] & M.O. [Scott Cameron] on field clothing. Started preparing for McNair [Nunatak] and repainted beacon for rest of day.


Friday 9 July 1965

Morning spent on office work. Started loading Snow Trac for trip up to Fischer [Nunatak] in afternoon.


Saturday 10 July 1965

Assembled beacon in old mess for check, then dismantled it and loaded Snow Trac. Away at 1145 (self [Max Corry] driving), other tourists being Bob Lachal (Assistant Cook) and Gil Webster (I.P.S.O.). Near whiteout conditions made driving hard. Tried to put in line of navigation stakes, but crook ice drill resulted in only one (two miles out from Gwamm) being put in. Arrived Fischer caravan 1240 and unloaded beacon & food for McNair trip. Forty knot wind & temps below zero [F]. Cleaned up caravan and left 1330 arriving Gwamm 1405 (fastest run yet). Back to Mawson 1420 and started preparations for McNair [Nunatak] beaconing trip.


Sunday 11 July 1965

Preparation for McNair [Nunatak] beaconing trip took up most of the day.


Monday 12 July 1965

Two dog teams with self [Max Corry], Pat Bensley, Laurie Turnbull and Dave Carter left Mawson 1125. Were accompanied up the latter portion of the slope by a Snow Trac which gave up the ghost at Gwamm. Usual ritual of changing Ian & Sputnick as lead dog until a good fight knocked some sense into Ian. Quick time was made across the ice and after an interruption by Gunther Weller in V.W. delivering the goods. Reached Fischer caravan at 1425 after tackling it by going round the back. Managed to see Goldsworthy ridge beacon for first time en route. Dave [Carter] & self [Max Corry] went up to camera site for brief recce. Picked out McNair [Nunatak] further east than we anticipated. Beautiful night, no wind, full moon.


Tuesday 13 July 1965

Up [at] 0800 and away 1145 after loading beacon, rock drill etc which had been previously depoted at Fischer [Nunatak] by Snow Trac. Terrain to McNair [Nunatak] flat with small sastrugi. Snow cover hid slots but two patches one near Fischer [Nunatak] and the other near McNair [Nunatak] were visible. Would tend to follow Russell Nunatak route by vehicle instead of the direct route we took. Dogs performed well although 2nd team lagged well behind the 1st. Camped just north of McNair [Nunatak] at 1615 at a good protected campsite. Slight wind & very light ground drift.


Wednesday 14 July 1965

Up later and went for recce on nunatak. The rock outcrop is very steep but not high. Found route up which involved snow step cutting. A small cairn from 1960 astrofix has found on the highest point. Took beacon up to top of snow slope and then dragged up vertical rock face to summit. Pat [Bensley] and self [Max Corry] assembled beacon whilst Laurie [Turnbull] & Dave [Carter] tried unsuccessfully to get the rock drill started. Left beacon in a deep crack in the otherwise flat summit. Had a bit of excitement when tent nearly went up into flames.


Thursday 15 July 1965

Managed to get rock drill started in sledge box after a lot of heating. Carried it still running to the top, but it refused to go there so we were forced to give it away. Big disappointment to all the party, especially me. As it was too late at this stage to go to Fischer [Nunatak], we had an easy afternoon. Established a depot of dog & man food.


Friday 16 July 1965

Virtual whiteout all day, but as we had had enough, decided to head north leaving at 1217. Dogs really relishing the downhill run and light load. Patches of powder snow had fallen but Ian made a beeline for Fischer which was reached at 1440. Left at 1450 after picking up a few things from the caravan. Ian headed literally straight home over steep new slopes & melt lakes but reached Mawson at 1620.


Saturday 17 July 1965

Up 1000. Discussions on field trip with John Bennett (field equipment officer) & OIC [Brian Woinarski]. Unpacked sledges in afternoon and wrote up reports.


Sunday 18 July 1965

Finished off reports in morning then up to Gwamm with Gunter [Weller] in VW, then started on three new beacons to replace the small disk type of Farley manufacture which are suspect over distances of ten miles or more.


Monday 19 July 1965

Beacon building most of [the] day but had meeting with OIC [Brian Woinarski], Doctor [Scott Cameron) & Geophysicist [John Haigh] on forthcoming Polaris trip to Auster Rookery.


Tuesday 20 July 1965

Had clean up in Survey Office AM and labelled compartments of survey cupboard. Continued building beacons PM with night watch & Auster field trip duties Completed one beacon (except for guying points) in early hours of morning. Temperature -28F.


Wednesday 21 July 1965

Night watch AM. Went over to Bechervaise Island & read angle Onley [Hill] to Welch [Island] as requested by Natmap. Temperatures still lower but little wind. Unable to see Painted Hill beacon thus conforming my intentions to replace where practical with 3' square vanes. These 22" diameter disks are too small over eight miles in Antarctic conditions. Over 25 miles would use 4' square vanes. Temperatures still low.


Thursday 22 July 1965

Another cold day (-30F) but relieved in drift in the evening. Worked most of day checking & packing equipment for trip to Auster Rookery. Made up & fitted shelving to Balleny compartment after tea.


Friday 23 July 1965

Falling snow and whiteout made it impossible to leave for Auster. Spent day making another beacon in carpenter's shop. The beacons found to be the most successful were diamond shaped vanes (with 3' sides bolted to a 10' length of 1" (internal diam) piping and held in place by a toxin at the base and use guys to 3 rock pins (3 guys from top of vane and 3 guys from the bottom) The materials required were

2 -9 or 10 SWG 3' x 3' aluminium sheets (One is to be diagonally to give 2 90-45-45 sheets. preferable for this to be done in Australia.

1 -ten foot length 1 " piping.

3 -3'4' (approx) 1" x 1" x " steel angle.

4 -2' 3" x 1" x " steel bar.

1 - internal diameter loxin.

9 -3" x " bright steel hexagonal whitworth bolts c/w 2 washers and 2 hexagonal nuts each.

18 -1" x " round head whitworth thread mild steel screws c/w washers and 2 hexagonal nuts each.

100 feet (approx) " diam wire rope.

12 -" wire rope thimbles.

36 -" wire rope clamps.

6 - D wire rope shackles ".

6 -D wire rope shackles ".

6 - " galvanised turnbuckles.

3 -ANARE rock pins c/w wedges.

1 -1" piping plug.

Sufficient supply of sulphur.

6 -3" x 1" x " steel bars (for guy points)

12" -" diam steel rod.


The diagrams [not in this electronic form] are not to scale but exaggerated where necessary to show methods of construction. In all cases the aluminium sheets have been sandwiched between two pieces of steel to prevent tearing. Steel piping was used instead of aluminium pole because of easier welding of the lugs for guy attachment. For transporting to the site, sheets A, B & C together with their two common struts and the three angles are retained as one unit, whilst the other pieces are transported separately. This combines the minimum of bulk (and consequently ease of handling) with the minimum of work to be done at the beacon site. (Sheet D and the piping is attached to the other vanes by means of the 9 " bolts and the two struts to sheet D are put in place).


For construction, if a certain routine is followed, work is simplified and faster. A couple of tricks learnt were firstly always use holes already drilled as guides for future drilling (eg. for drilling a series of holes drill two then retain the pieces of metal together by putting bolts in these two holes etc.). Secondly always drill the holes in the steel angle first and then use this as a guide for subsequent drilling in the aluminium sheets. Thirdly assemble beacon as each step is completed as this simplifies the problem of marking out; fourthly when bending the steel bars through an angle of approximately 45 to allow proper contact between bar and aluminium sheet, any twist that appears is removed by vice and wrench, fifthly drilling in aluminium is slightly different, it being necessary to clean out shavings by using a file or chisel for those which appear above the surface of the sheet and then a re-drill for those then remaining in the hole.


Cutting of the sheets may be done if necessary with a metal sheet cutter and ground straight on an electric grinder with the shavings (rind) at times being removed by hammer and chisel.


Another hint is to have all nuts and consequently the protruding threads of the " screws in the angle iron brought into the quadrant opposite the quadrant in which the piping fits. This allows only the minimum (ie the head) to appear in the quadrants which the larger " bolts are fitted and saves torn gloves etc. It also pays to drill the holes for " bolts with a 25/64" drill to allow easier manipulation in the field.


Diamond shaped vanes were chosen for 2 reasons

(i) a greater length of the vane can be attached to the pole and hence greater strength.

(ii) at close range the extremities being horizontal and vertical allow greater accuracy of intersection.


Saturday 24 July 1965

Early drift delayed departure for another day. Wrote up report on beacons AM and finished off the third (& last) vanes PM along with station duties. Collected a few fuel drums for track markers, then finished off day by making guy lugs for beacons.


Sunday 25 July 1965

Blizzard stopped departure. Loaded sledges AM. Slept and finished off lugs PM. Also spoke to Allan McLaren [Glaciologist] at Wilkes re tellurometer but sked not too satisfactory due [to] drift static. He apparently has got up to 5 miles between tellurometers without elevating them at all.


Monday 26 July 1965

Another day of blizz[ard]. Wind last night at 2300 reached 91 knots (104 mph). Spent day putting eyelets into igloo tents and on heating device for rock drill.


Tuesday 27 July 1965

Day of drift. Built covers for water tanks in Balleny AM. Grinding beacon poles PM.


Wednesday 28 July 1965

Beautiful day. Left Mawson 1110 for Auster Rookery (2 Polaris [Snow travellers]) with OIC [Brian Woinarski], Attila Vrana (Cosray), Joe Gavaghan (Radio) & Don Allison (Electrical Engineer). Run rather uneventful reaching campsite just east of Safety Island on tongue giving access to plateau at 1615. Good campsite on eastern edge. Islands here are hard to identify & considerable doubt existed for some while as to the party's whereabouts.


Thursday 29 July 1965

Whiteout delayed departure until 1400. Went 10 miles due north then retraced steps for 2 miles then 4 miles west then back to campsite because of engine trouble. No sign of rookery but saw about 2 dozen emperors [penguins].


Friday 30 July 1965

Clear day. Left campsite 1220. Polaris going well (15 mph in places. Came home closer to the ice cliffs giving faster trip & better fuel economy. Another access to the plateau exists about 5 miles west of Safety Island near a couple of islets. Reached Mawson 1600.


Saturday 31 July 1965

Morning spent in unpacking from Auster field trip. Started cleaning up of passage in Rymill including cleaning away of ice.



Sunday 1 August 1965

Morning off. PM Sealed passage in Rymill and part of survey office with Hornex to prevent further icing up.


Monday 2 August 1965

Office work & assisting electrical engineer in Rymill AM. Prepared Kloa [Rookery] navigation instructions & chasing D shackles PM.


Tuesday 3 August 1965

Made up extra beacon guys in morning. Went out to Entrance Island after dinner with Pat Bensley (carpenter) and checked reputed sand deposits. Had meeting with OIC [Brian Woinarski] & Senior Diesel Mechanic [Bill Edward] re Spring trip. Decided against using dogs & settled for 2 Snow Tracs & 1 Polaris in addition to 2 D4's.


Wednesday 4 August 1965

Worked most of day in carpenter's shop on shelving for Rymill. Went out with Keith Watson on Polaris at 1600 to calibrate sledge wheel over [Chris] Armstrong's baseline but missed Baseline rock & ended up near Arrow Island.


Thursday 5 August 1965

Worked in carpenter's shop till 1100. The sked with Gale [Head, Natmap Antarctic Mapping Branch] via ANARE radio link. Learnt a little bit more re summer program etc. Made up reorder for 1966 then went over astro compass with Pat Bensley and Keith Watson. Went up to NM/S/77 to check survey camera. Wild tripod adaptor not too successful; also film jammed near the end of the roll resulting in having to unload film in darkroom. Back in carpenter's shop till 2030.


Friday 6 August 1965

30 knot wind & drift. Worked all day in carpenter's shop but helped harness dogs for departure of 2 dog teams to Kloa Rookery.


Saturday 7 August 1965

In carpenter's shop all day shelf & cupboard building.


Sunday 8 August 1965

Commenced slushy duty again but worked in between times from 0930 to 2300 on shelves in Rymill.


Monday 9 August 1965

Slushy duties intermingled with cupboard building till 2030.


Tuesday 10 August 1965

Overcast, no wind. Slushy & cupboard building. Pumped fuel into carpenter's shop heater & relit it. Put undercoat on cupboard after tea till 2230.


Wednesday 11 August 1965

Beautiful day, slushy duties most of day but repaired ski bindings AM and went for first run on skis PM. Good afternoon.


Thursday 12 August 1965

Slushy duties, gash run (twice) & briquette run for Rymill. Sked with Graeme McKinnon (Geographic Officer HO) in morning & settled questions re maps & compasses.


Friday 13 August 1965

Slushy duties all day. Painted final coat on cupboard after tea till 2200.


Saturday 14 August 1965

Slushy duties all day.


Sunday 15 August 1965

Worse blizz[ard] so far this year meaning 80 knots gusting to 100 knots. Sunday cook.


Monday 16 August 1965

Blizzard eased to 50 knots after reaching 134 mph at 0149 MBT [Mawson Bastard Time]. Checked on beacons - OK except for one frame slightly bent. Cleaned up Rymill in morning and office work afternoon.


Tuesday 17 August 1965

Blizzard abated - no snow but 50 knot wind. Checked lighting equipment theodolite etc. AM for night astro & commenced building rack for tripods in afternoon. Decided to replace " screws in struts of beacons by " diam bolts for additional strength.


Wednesday 18 August 1965

Finished off tripod rack AM & early PM. Night watch for rest of day.


Thursday 19 August 1965

Night watch AM. Checked battery currents & voltages for tellurometer as requested by Natmap early PM then laid out running course on harbour ice with Greg Martin (Electronics Engineer).


Friday 20 August 1965

Office work preparing map AM & early PM then started painting in Balleny [sleeping hut].


Saturday 21 August 1965

Painting Balleny most of day but carted fuel for chippie's shop.


Sunday 22 August 1965

Morning off. Afternoon spent installing tripod rack in Rymill and painting in Balleny. Temperatures high (+15F to +20F) but at Wilkes it got to +33F and water is running everywhere.


Monday 23 August 1965

Day of slight to medium drift. Did stock take in Rymill AM. Office work (Computations) PM.


Tuesday 24 August 1965

Beautiful day. Prepared for astro and took equipment to Flatoy [Bechervaise Island] mid afternoon. Went over to Flatoy after tea with Mick Poulton but high winds (40 knots) prevented any more than 2 circum meridian [observations for latitude] being done.


Wednesday 25 August 1965

Another beautiful day. Finished painting room in Balleny & did repairs to torches AM. Carted briquettes for Rymill in afternoon. Over to Bechervaise Island after tea with John Gordon (Radio Tech). Ideal conditions for astro but unfortunately could not get time signals -got everything else except WWV [American time signal service]. The time signal receiver had been left at Mawson in preference to the R209 receiver which could receive 5 m/c as well. Feel that a special time signal receiver for field use could be made up for ANARE without too much trouble, Ideally it would be a little [more] powerful than the present time signal receiver, crystal controlled for six frequencies 5, 5.425. 7.515. 10, 12.005 & 15 m/cs. Thus it would be able to pick up WWVH on all its frequencies and VNG (Australia) which generally is much stronger in signal down here than WWVH (Mawson geophysicist uses Australian frequencies exclusively) but the particular minute is unable to be isolated except on the hour in contrast to WWVH where the minutes are continuously isolated. The receiver would need to be powered by internal batteries (two field torch batteries - D99 as used by ANARE would be ideal) with provision made for an external power source.


Thursday 26 August 1965

Welded lugs onto beacon supports in morning. Office work and commenced finishing off of beacons (including painting) PM.


Friday 27 August 1965

Had most of day off (MO's orders) due to sore eyes incurred whilst welding but did a little on the beacons.


Saturday 28 August 1965

On beacons and office work (computations).


Sunday 29 August 1965

Morning off. Started for trip to Fischer [Nunatak] with John Bennett & Gunter Weller after dinner, but had Snow Trac trouble & were forced to leave vehicle at Gwamm. Painter beacon poles & did some comps till tea.


Monday 30 August 1965

Went up to Gwamm with Jock McGhee in weasel. Got Snow Trac operational, trouble was caused by low tension lead to distributor lying on exhaust melting the insulation and thus causing a short. Pulled sledge up to Glaciologist's caravan and did resection for position from Onley [Hill], Painted Hill and Bechervaise [Island}. Spent rest of morning on beacons. Afternoon spent on helping Gil Webster (IPSO) put up aerial that had been blown down in the severe blizz[ard].


Tuesday 31 August 1965

Left Mawson at 0915 in Snow Trac (self [Max Corry] driving) with John Bennett, Gunter Weller, Greg Martin and Dave Carter for Fischer. Lined up camera from Onley [Hill] beacon towards Mawson and subsequently installed the remote parallactic camera. Back at Mawson 1500; rest of day on station duties.


Wednesday 1 September 1965

Helped replace chimney in Balleny during morning after it had eaten through during the night causing a quick evacuation of the occupants. Beacons PM.


Thursday 2 September 1965

Long sked with a Mr Skinner [Mick Skinner who later joined Natmap and wintered] at VNM [ANARE Melbourne] re tellurometer problems. Came up with a few ideas. More beacon work in afternoon & completed boxes for tellurometer headsets.


Friday 3 September 1965

Finished beacons then checked nickel cadmium batteries as suggested by Mr Skinner then commenced further tellurometer tests.


Saturday 4 September 1965

More tellurometer tests with Gil Webster (IPSO), a communications engineer by profession. Concluded a lot of this current excess is required for running the cathode ray tube. Station duties & packing for trip to Auster [Rookery] in afternoon.


Sunday 5 September 1965

Concluded tellurometer tests & sent cable to Natmap 1100 to 2030.


Monday 6 September 1965

Glorious day, wind dropped [at] 1030. Left Mawson 0915 with two Polaris [K95 Sno-traveller motorised toboggans] & Bill Edward, Ted Foley & Peter McGrath. Had excellent run to 65/1 (Auster Island) following mostly previous parties track. Depoted two jerry cans petrol on summit with the two ration packs already there. Arrived Auster feeding hole 1240 then on to Auster for lunch at 1315. Rookery has to be seen to be believed, an incredible sight; surely one of the wonders of MacRobertson Land. Left Rookery at 1430, and roared home in 3 hours dead (Surely a record except for Snow Tracs etc). This trip was the forerunner of many one day Polaris trips to Auster not only this year but in the future as well.


Tuesday 7 September 1965

A day of high drift which by teatime had built up into a sizeable blizzard. Spent day either in office (cleaning up & computing for IPSO) or on station duties.


Wednesday 8 September 1965

Blizzard all day but abated at night. Computations & start of preparations for spring trip.


Thursday 9 September 1965

Station duties & design of tellurometer towers occupied most of the day.


Friday 10 September 1965

Mostly spring trip preparations.


Saturday 11 September 1965

Night watch and station duties.


Sunday 12 September 1965

Day off after night watch.


Monday 13 September 1965

Spring trip preparations (towers & tellurometer carrying boxes).


Tuesday 14 September 1965

Spring trip preparations.


Wednesday 15 September 1965

Tower construction & assisting mechanics with [Caterpillar] D4 [tractor].


Thursday 16 September 1965

Tower work & helping mechanics.


Friday 17 September 1965

Finished off tower prototype in morning. Worked on tellurometer carrying boxes in afternoon and evening till 2030.


Saturday 18 September 1965

Finished off boxes in morning and commenced forward beacon tower. Went for run with dogs past Bechervaise Island in afternoon.


Sunday 19 September 1965

Morning off. Worked on beacon towers in afternoon.


Monday 20 September 1965

A little work on beacons but most of day spent on installing radios in new Snow Trac. Worked till 2100.


Tuesday 21 September 1965

Virtually finished radio installation in morning. Left Mawson 1345 with Peter Baggott (Radio Operator) in Snow Trac no. 8. Arrived Rumdoodle caravan 1500. Radio test with Mawson successful at 1530. Placed Lucas Lamp on Painted Hill at 1630 then headed for home. Back right wheel of Snow Trac fell off at 1715 (apparently a common trouble). Tried to make radio contact with Mawson but not successful, so decided to walk the 8 miles back to Mawson from our position just east of the Russian fuel dump. Arrived Mawson 2010 [after] a walk of 2 hours in extremely pleasant conditions. After tea went out to Bechervaise Island with the OIC [Brian Woinarski] on motor bike driven by Bob Lachal. An extremely quick trip. Did a couple of position lines [observations] (something had happened to the RO [reference object] light on Painted Hill until electrical system on theodolite and both torches packed up. Got onto sea ice by starlight where Bob Lachal picked us up on the motor bike.


Wednesday 22 September 1965

Office work in the morning. Tower building PM.


Thursday 23 September 1965

Glorious day. Completed the forward tower then mounted astro compass into Snow Trac no. 8. Went over to Bechervaise [Island] after tea on Polaris with OIC [Brian Woinarski] but a complete washout due [to] absence of radio [time] signals. Relay from VLV [Mawson Radio] failed because VLV couldn't get signals either.


Friday 24 September 1965

Office work, computations all day.


Saturday 25 September 1965

Office work AM. On Snow Trac radio & station duties PM.


Sunday 26 September 1965

Day off.


Monday 27 September 1965

Spent day checking things for field trip. Also ran over theodolite and tellurometer [operation] with some of [the] bods on Spring trip.


Tuesday 28 September 1965

Left Mawson 0915 with Brian W[oinarski] & Mick Poulton in Snow Trac. Reached Rumdoodle caravan and counted drums. Replaced Painted Hill beacon with 3' square vanes but trouble with Snow Trac forced us to walk 3 miles to the [Rumdoodle] caravan & spend the night there.


Wednesday 29 September 1965

Forced to send day in [Rumdoodle] caravan by whiteout and high gusts. Cleaned up caravan & replenished food.


Thursday 30 September 1965

Walked out to airfield & counted drums. Snow Trac with Jock McGhee & Peter McGrath arrived for lunch then round to pick up second Snow Trac. Back to Mawson by 1500, improving the drum line on the way home.


Friday 1 October 1965

Prepared for trip to McNair [Nunatak] all day.


Saturday 2 October 1965

Set off for McNair [Nunatak] at 0900 but driven back by whiteout & drift. Prepared sheets of instruction for theodolite & tellurometer to be used on Spring trip.


Sunday 3 October 1965

Drift & whiteout. Day off. Checked personal clothing for spring trip.


Monday 4 October 1965

Night watch activities AM. Completed theodolite mount on top of tower in PM. Night watch in evening.


Tuesday 5 October 1965

Night watch early morning. Left Mawson at 0910 in Snow Trac with Jock McGhee (Mechanic) and Peter Baggott (Radio Operator) bound for McNair [Nunatak]. Ran into drift at Fischer {Nunatak] but continued on. Got onto a big dome (with slots) about 6 miles east of Fischer [Nunatak]. Skirted around the northern and eastern sides of Russell Nunatak and continued S.E. coming out about 2 miles N.E. of McNair [Nunatak]. Reached McNair [Nunatak] at 1215 with winds now 40 - 50 mph. Got beacon up at second attempt but were forced to leave it without being vertical and all guying completed due [to the] wind and the time. Groped way towards Fischer following tracks. Then a very amazing transformation; around Russell Nunatak and within a couple of miles the near blizzard conditions turned into a perfect day with nil wind and consequently no drift. On looking to the south we could see a curtain of drift resembling closely a forest fire. Reached Mawson at 1840 where the whole day had been perfect whilst 30 miles away, virtual near blizzard prevailed. Which all goes to show the freakish weather which in encountered down here.


Wednesday 6 October 1965

Unpacked from McNair [Nunatak trip] then fixed up guys on timber stack. Hunted up a few more D shackles for beaconing on spring trip. Things are so bad that [I] am even modifying guy wires on huts to get sufficient shackles.


Thursday 7 October 1965

Finished notes on tellurometer & theodolite for spring trip then was advised by Head Office to drop the astro. Prepared to go out to Bechervaise Island in afternoon to collect survey gear but gear box trouble in Polaris prevented departure. Collected a few more shackles instead.


Friday 8 October 1965

Checked beacon tower. Seems it will not be stable enough in high winds for the theodolite but is ideal for tellurometer and targets. Will probably have to consider sitting theodolite tripod directly on roof of vehicles. According to the Ross Ice Shelf Survey account, it is certainly worth the trouble.


Saturday 9 October 1965

Made up aluminium target which attached directly to the beacon legs. Started manufacture of second tower. Did night watch duty during night.


Sunday 10 October 1965

Day off after night watch.


Monday 11 October 1965

More work on second tower which was completed at 1930.


Tuesday 12 October 1965

Office work in morning. Packed beaconing material for spring trip in afternoon.


Wednesday 13 October 1965

Blizzard. Confined to Rymill mainly preparing maps for Spring trip.


Thursday 14 October 1965

Confined to Rymill by blizzard. Started checking survey gear for spring trip.


Friday 15 October 1965

Morning spent replacing chimney on Rymill. Rest of day checking aerial photographs for biological studies, fixing up heliographs etc.


Saturday 16 October 1965

Completed second tower in the morning. Went out to Welch Island in afternoon by Polaris and finally to Bechervaise Island to pick up survey gear from astronomy. A considerable amount of snow had been deposited on the sea ice from the recent blizzard.


Sunday 17 October 1965

Day off. Slushy duties in Balleny during afternoon.


Monday 18 October 1965

Worked on tripod holding device for Snow Trac roof all day till 2000. Beautiful day, went for another spin on Polaris [K95 Sno-traveller motorised toboggan] after 2000 to Welch [Island] from which an impressive view is obtained. The easiest way up is via the south eastern ridge, but care should be taken of the meltpool at the foot of the ridge. This may be the logical starting point for a westward tellurometer traverse along the coast, but Gibbney Island should also be investigated.


Tuesday 19 October 1965

Most of day spent on tripod rack but spent some time helping Electrician [Electrical Engineer really] testing fire alarms and digging out buried ATK [Aviation Turbine Kerosene] drums for spring trip use.


Wednesday 20 October 1965

Completed tripod holding rack then helped load drums onto sledge for Spring trip. Afternoon spent checking survey gear especially Lucas Lamps.


Thursday 21 October 1965

Morning spent on survey gear in Rymill. Made up two boxes for Snow Trac in afternoon and till 2200.


Friday 22 October 1965

Completed the third of [the] boxes started yesterday for Snow Trac in the morning. Found some aluminium piping on an old ice yacht which filled the bill for the platform supports on one of the D4's.


Saturday 23 October 1965

Continued platform building operations.


Sunday 24 October 1965

Morning off. Completed platform on Orange B (D4 tractor) in afternoon. Went out to Bechervaise Island after tea on motorbike to see the newly arrived Adelie Penguins. Motorbike certainly much faster and it is a worthwhile proposition on bare sea ice.


Monday 25 October 1965

Ironed out a few bugs on tripod rack on Snow Trac and started similar arrangement for D4 [tractor]. Spent a couple of hours taking levels for Pat Bensley (carpenter) of proposed sites for new workshop. Also did some more test shots with Survey camera. Knocked off 2300. Beautiful day.


Tuesday 26 October 1965

Another glorious day; if the weather is like this on the spring trip, it will be the least of our worries. Spent day cleaning up some of the loose ends associated with a few of the devices [manufactured] for instrument raising [on the spring trip]. Worked till 2300. Most of the associated problems seem to have been solved thanks to Jock McGhee, one of the mechanics. In association with Don Allison (electrician [but really the electrical engineer]) modified the Sonotone battery charger so that it can also be worked by the TAS generator as well as off the mains.


Wednesday 27 October 1965

Weather even better today. Worked on supports for D4 platform in morning. Started packing field gear with Dave Carter in afternoon including preparation of survey markers for the [survey] stations. Knocked off 2200.


Thursday 28 October 1965

Weather declining. Started on screen supports for Snow Trac. Also made up spares for structures. Went over program & navigation in afternoon with OIC [Brian Woinarski]. Helped Mick [Poulton] substantially complete actual screen after tea till 2145.


Friday 29 October 1965

More gear checking of gear in Rymill in morning and more loose ends of towers etc cleared up in afternoon. On field gear till 2300.


Saturday 30 October 1965

Another day of cleaning up loose ends. Started loading just before tea and continued to 2130. Received cable from Natmap implying to use Peak 7 as the Stinears Nunataks station.


Sunday 31 October 1965

Packed gear into containers at Rymill in morning. Afternoon spent transferring same onto sledges etc.


Monday 1 November 1965

Heavy blizzard. Checked equipment on sledges, sorted out further articles in Rymill and helped down in the garage in the morning. Had afternoon off.


Tuesday 2 November 1965

Blizzard continued. Wind up to 126 mph. Pressure down to 942 mb, a record for this year. Thus little done all day except check equipment and some office work.


Wednesday 3 November 1965

Blizzard ceased but overcast and whiteout. Sorted out gear on sledge doing some clearing out of snow etc. Loaded little sledge (Snow Trac) in afternoon & early evening.


Thursday 4 November 1965

Whiteout & hole in petrol tank of Snow Trac no. 7 prevented departure. Spent day reloading the large articulated sledge.


Friday 5 November 1965

Overcast but decided to see what it was like on plateau. Negotiation of snow slopes around station took considerable time but found that Snow Trac could not pull sledge up icy section of slope. Returned to Mawson and spent rest of morning digging out a sledge. Made up another beacon in afternoon and some of evening.


Saturday 6 November 1965

Glorious day. Left Mawson 0930 but [Caterpillar] D4 [tractor] had considerable trouble with artic[ulated sledge] and small sledge on slope. Finally left Gwamm in two Snow Tracs (Keith [Watson] & self [Max Corry] in no. 8 Peter [McGrath] & Dave [Carter] in no. 7) at 1100. Lost oil sump plug out of no. 8 near Fischer [Nunatak] but continued on.

Reached McNair [Nunatak] about 1430 by a now proven route. The previously temporarily erected beacon was down due to turnbuckle failure. Reerected [beacon] and took round of terrestrial photos. Left McNair at 1740 headed NW around a dome and then SW. Terrain now a bit dicey. Finally put [Snow Trac] no 8 down a slot 8 miles SW of McNair with the left hand track and sledge in. Slot was at least 60 feet deep and three feet wide. Keith [Watson] also broke through snow cover whilst examining vehicle. Secured sledge and offloaded gear. Sledge finally out without losing anything, then pitched camp after securing Snow Trac.


Sunday 7 November 1965

Weather deteriorated. Confined to tents by heavy drift all day.


Monday 8 November 1965

Another glorious day weatherwise, temperature -10F but no wind. Started getting Snow Trac by firstly putting two beacon poles under both tracks and across slot. Brought second Snow Trac into position at the side, using it as a dead man, assisted by tent pegs in tracks. Tirfor winch proved its worth. By alternating digging away Snow Tracw from the side and beneath the vehicle and tightening winch the vehicle rested on the poles and later [it] was pulled across into a pit dug on the side of the slot. Estimated over forty cubic yards of snow shifted by hand; a tiresome job. Dave [Carter] then found large rip in one of the tents and proceeded to sew it up. Finally to bed at 0100 hours.


Tuesday 9 November 1965

Up later than usual; wind all day slightly unpleasant. Took some time to get Snow Trac on surface and sledge loaded. Left [campsite] at] 1520 heading nearly west directly towards Mt Horden as slots in this area appear to be generally NE to SW. Headed down the eastern side of Price Nunatak to camp NW of Van Hulssen [Nunatak] above the wind scour at 1730. Weather deteriorating especially towards the coast. Went for walk after tea and investigated route to summit; a lot of scree, especially dangerous in places where it was a thin layer of ice. Windscour of gigantic proportion; has to be seen to be believed.


Wednesday 10 November 1965

Medium winds considered too high for beacon erection in view of long exposed scree slope that has to be climbed to the summit. Day spent in tent. The rest of the field party haven't left Mawson as yet, but on the bright side VLV [Mawson radio] contacted Nella Dan for the first time at 09S. Thank heavens for the little red ship.


Thursday 11 November 1965

The waiting for good weather really paid off. The light wind in the morning completed dropped off about 1400. Left Van Hulssen campsite about 1200 in Snow Trac for base of nunatak. Straightened [beacon] centre pipe [it was bent during Snow Trac recovery operations] around some rocks then took off about 1300 up the mountain. Extremely strenuous especially the first bit over ice and loose snow. Finally reached top at 1530. The [beacon] vanes were carried on a Yukon pack; a method quite satisfactory except in moderate or high winds. As [David] Carstens (1962 Surveyor) mentioned [the] summit is [a] pinnacle so beacon was set up on rock platform to the west giving a complete view except for about 45 between Anniversary Nunataks and Twintop which is hidden by the summit but some sights to beacon may have a rock background. Ideal conditions made it possible to work in bare hands. Finished [beacon erection] 1830 - down to Snow Trac 1920 and camp 1940. All four members completely worn out after a tremendous effort - in all an excellent indication for the future spring trip.


Friday 12 November 1965

Another reasonable day. Left V.H. [(Van Hulssen)] camp 1130 having a good run to Anniversary Nunataks in a little over an hour. Very large slots one mile NW of western ridge of Anniversary Nunataks but fairly good snow bridges existed. Dave [Carter] and I [Max Corry] did a foot reconnaissance for the survey station. From the western side, the eastern ridge looked too hard in comparison with the northern point of the western ridge - a comparative stroll. McNair [Nunatak] visible and Mt Horden forms the background for V.H. [Van Hulssen Nunatak] beacon but still comparatively clear. Summits Twintop and Onley Hill also clearly visible. Tractor train apparently striking trouble with soft snow. After a few repairs to the Snow Trac, took equipment to survey point, but with the increasing wind decided to leave [beacon] erection till later.


Saturday 13 November 1965

Due to tractors being stranded at Hordern Gap all day and the fairly high wind here at Anniversary Nunataks, decided to leave beacon erection for better weather.


Sunday 14 November 1965

Wind eased a little so decided to erect beacon in afternoon. Wind caused trouble with blow lamp; but no other trouble. Used two guys in place to steady beacon this time. Rock a little rotten but [we] hope sulphur will bind it together. [Taking] round of terrestrial photos caused extremely cold fingers. Finished 1830, and prepared for survey tomorrow. [We are] getting old hands at beacon erection now. Tractors expect to reach Twintop tonight.


Monday 15 November 1965

A miserable frustrating day. Heavy drift and rip in tent opened up during the night; made a temporary fix using safety pins. Checked equipment at survey station [now known as McGrath Nunatak] at 1000; every feature obscured except V.H. [Van Hulssen Nunatak]. The guys on the beacon had apparently slackened a little, but could not tighten them due [to] lack of tools. Radio sked 1630; [tractor] train now six miles from Twintop.


Tuesday 16 November 1965

Another day of blizzard which during the previous night had risen to all its fury. Very concerned about rip in tent but it lasted out. Blizzard eased a little in afternoon, but still nothing done.


Wednesday 17 November 1965

Beautiful day; wind dropped right away after 1400. Kept Tellurometer watch from 1230 to 1600 [at what is now McGrath Nunatak] but to no avail as tractors still having trouble with soft snow. Very frustrating all round. Did some horizontals and round of angles after radio sked. More work in [a] round of angles then at first realised. Finished 1830, the first good day at A.N. [Anniversary Nunataks} virtually wasted, [but] still this is Antarctica.


Thursday 18 November 1965

Hopes of completing measurement dashed as thick blizzard came up around midday thus [we were] confined to tent.


Friday 19 November 1965

After an unpleasant night, up [at] 1215 and just made it to survey station [at what is now McGrath Nunatak] at 1300. Wind at 15 to 20 knots unpleasant. Tellurometer contact 1300 hrs. Twintop reports 30 to 40 knots so restricted measurement to one set; sufficient under the circumstances. Packed up and headed south between the two ridges [of Anniversary Nunataks] at 1700 and round the southern end of the western ridge [now McGrath Nunatak]. Sastrugi bad but dodged the slots this way. Good run until 1260 nunatak [now Shark Peak] where cracked back wheel of no 8 and one small wheel of no. 7. Repairs 1850 to 2010. Proceeded further but front wheel bearing seized on no. 8 and so were forced to leave [this] Snow Trac. Packed all sleeping gear into no. 7 and arrived at [tractor] train 3 miles south of depot at 2200.


Saturday 20 November 1965

Late rising (1000) then helped unload Polaris [Sno-traveller motorised toboggan] then helped Jock [McGhee] weld lugs on to centre pole for replacement for Twintop beacon. Peter {McGrath}, Keith [Watson] & Dave [Carter] returned with bad news of broken wheel bearing on Snow Trac [no. 8] - definitely out of commission. Will have to use Polaris; don't know how it will fare but it is certainly worth a go. Left [tractor] train at 1700 with Dave [Carter], John [Gordon] & Pat [Bensley] & erected new beacon on summit [Twintop] 1750 - 1940. [Beacon] failure due to small holes (3/16") and struts of only copper tubing. Back to [tractor] train at 2015 picking up ration pack from last January operations on the way down.


Sunday 21 November 1965

Very good day weatherwise. Sorted out gear and checked items in boxes. Erected Natmap igloo tent for trial - verdict completely useless. Up hill [Twintops] at 1630 and two sets of horizontals (beautiful observing, clear targets and superior instrument [Wild T3 theodolite]). Even got sights on McNair [Nunatak] 30 miles away. Its moments like these that you appreciate the hard work of beaconing. Also did a round of angles; down at 2000. Hard to realise the vast difference between the [Wild] T3 & T2 [theodolites].


Monday 22 November 1965

Tractor [train] left Twintop at 0900 in moderate winds and light drift. Peter [McGrath], Dave [Carter] & self [Max Corry] staying behind at Twintop. Erected tent then walked down to old depot which was in a bad state. Weather worsening, confined to tent and Snow Trac.


Tuesday 23 November 1965

Rose a little after midday after a night with some anxious moments. Winds up to 60 knots. Wind & snow dying down a little during the day but still some drift to the south. Received news that the [tractor] train was only three miles from being just north of 62T1. Decided to pay them a visit leaving at 1730 arriving at 1755, just to find tractors preparing to head southwards, so obtained some more food and returned to tent at 1900. Snow still very soft; tractors being used in tandem.


Wednesday 24 November 1965

Another dismal day. Rose [at] midday. Radio trouble meant no contact at 1400 or 1615. Charged up battery a little with battery charger. David [Carter] & Peter [McGrath] managed to fix the radio slightly.


Thursday 25 November 1965

A little more improvement but D4's still held up by drift 11 miles from us at 62T2. Dave [Carter] and Peter [McGrath] found the radio trouble; faulty power output valve.


Friday 26 November 1965

Weather improved. Radio contact 1400. Tellurometer contact 1500 - perfect signal, little ground swing. Theodolite readings hard due [to] scintillation. Obtained verticals but target disappeared for horizontals [angles]. Tried for over an hour but then left [Twintop] summit. Left campsite 1900, arriving 62T4 & caravans at 2300 after a bit of messing around on the poorly marked trail.


Saturday 27 November 1965

Sorted out survey gear for plateau jaunt. Went to NM/S/90 and waited in vain for forward target till 1400. Further investigation revealed [that the] forward party of Brian [Woinarski] & Pat [Bensley] on Polaris had overshot the mark and set up station on second ridge. Left John Gordon at NM/S/81 and [went] back to NM/S/80 & connected [these] two stations 1700 - 1900. Quite happy as didn't require towers and able to suffice with half the number of Tellurometer [fine] readings due to lack of ground swing. Up to NM/S/81 and onto caravans for dinner and refuelling. Snow Trac shed wheel on departure and with the spares having wrong tyre sizes or wrong rim sizes, two hours were lost. Back to NM/S/81 but shimmer and darkness had broken up targets so were forced to give it away at 2400.


Sunday 28 November 1965

If yesterday was a day of mistakes and bad luck, then today was the exact opposite. Did measurement at NM/S/81, 1300 - 1500 and NM/S/82 1630 - 1815. Used drums as back markers and forward party of John [Gordon] and Brian [Woinarski] used Polaris. System satisfactory with 3 to 4 mile legs using convenient ridges. Down to Depot A for tea 1900 - 2030 then back to NM/S/83. Scintillation occurred, but still able to do 4 mile leg to NM/S/84 although John's [Gordon] battery failed at start of second measurement. A most satisfactory day.


Monday 29 November 1965

Lazy day; reduced some of the observations. The ranges of observations are probably higher than Natmap standards, but are alright under the circumstances.


Tuesday 30 November 1965

Back to NM/S/84 with Dave [Carter] and Mick [Poulton], but unable to see backsight at NM/S/83 (drift). Did vertical and tellurometer only to find front party three miles off the marked track. Came back to 62T7 where Jock [McGhee] was having trouble with Orange B [tractor]. Took Snow Trac along established route to 62T8 in a roundabout fashion, then cut back to caravans. Went on recce with Pat [Bensley] and John [Gordon] on Polaris and picked snow station site.


Wednesday 1 December 1965

Weather not too promising, but put in new station south of caravans. Reduced obs[ervations] while waiting for Snow Trac to be fixed. Battery situation now critical; as both tellurometer ones had frozen up. Left [at] 1630 and [made] Tellurometer contact 1700. Had to elevate Tellurometer; signal meter reading 5 on ground increasing to 35 when elevated using Snow Trac roof. John's [Gordon] battery gave up the ghost before completion of readings, so used theodolite until john [Gordon] came back with fresh battery. Apparently the charging voltage had not been high enough, thereby discharging instead of charging batteries. As the back tyre in the Snow Trac had gone, Keith [Watson] arrived in D4. Brian [Woinarski], Peter [McGrath], Dave [Carter] and self [Max Corry] set off to walk back to the caravans, but Mick [Poulton] arrived on the Polaris, so loaded survey gear on sledge and went back with him. Terrific enjoyment riding sledge.


Thursday 2 December 1965

Another day of floundering. Took survey gear down to NM/S/85 with Polaris and Dave [Carter] at 1130. Returned 1215 and John [Gordon] and Brian [Woinarski] set out to establish NM/S/86. Dave [Carter] and self [Max Corry] walked back to NM/S/85 but couldn't make contact until 1500 (utilising towers, but not sure whether this was necessary). Finished 1630, Peter [McGrath] arriving in Snow Trac just before. Down to NM/S/86 at 1800. This station was set south of the [marked] track to get round the heights near NM/S/85, but unfortunately in a valley as the next sight to NM/S/87 was only a mile long, but it is on top of a rise. Dave [Carter] started painting the back drum markers black, a definite improvement. At NM/S/86 till 2100 then to caravan past 62T9 dropping sledge at NM/S/87 en route.


Friday 3 December 1965

No outside work today as wind and drift up. Reduced remaining observations till mid afternoon.


Saturday 4 December 1965

Still blizzed in, caught up on some rest.


Sunday 5 December 1965

No move, blizzed in.


Monday 6 December 1965

Bad weather continued, but [it] showed signs of easing in the evening.


Tuesday 7 December 1965

Drift eased sufficiently after 1600 to get going. Did measurement NM/S/87 to NM/S/888 although horizontals shaky due to target definition being bad; this will have to be repeated on [the] way home. Reconnaissance still shaky, but were forced to give it away at NM/S/88 as shimmer broke up the targets. Did not do Tellurometer measurement as NM/S/89 was not on the horizon. Hoping for better positioning tomorrow.


Wednesday 8 December 1965

Another cable from Natmap stating preference to close traverse than to extend to Stinear Nunataks; all right if we had another couple of months. Went back to NM/S/88 and completed tellurometer and verticals to NM/S/89, but backsight disappeared before horizontals could be taken. On return to trains found that John [Gordon] had had trouble with verticals so these will have to be repeated. Used theodolite on Snow Trac roof; rack making instrument quite stable.


Thursday 9 December 1965

Drifted in, but dropped drum at NM/S/89 with Mick [Poulton] in Snow Trac just before tea. Drift pretty thick. Reduced observations for rest of the day.


Friday 10 December 1965

Drift prevented work which has virtually come to a grinding halt. Have decided to revert to the three party system and towers to see whether the problem of light ground drift can be overcome, but communication may have to be improved. Pulled towers off sledge with Pat [Bensley] after tea.


Saturday 11 December 1965

Drift eased a little, so decided to clear up the horizontals at NM/S/87 and NM/S/88. Left 1410 with Peter [McGrath] and Dave [Carter] in Snow Trac while Brian [Woinarski] and Mick [Poulton] came on the Polaris. Erected portable beacon at NM/S/88 and did angles at NM/S/87. Target a big boon. Left Brian [Woinarski] and Mick [Poulton] at NM/S/87 to bring the NM/S/87 beacon when the horizontals at NM/S/88 were completed. This done at 1900 then did verticals NM/S/88 to NM/S/89 but had underestimated the beacon as John [Gordon] hit the one at NM/S/87 unknown to us. Caught up with Jock's [McGhee] train at NM/S/89. (Keith [Watson] already on his way) but scintillation prevented any further readings. A pleasant day considering that loose ends were cleared up and the assistance [the] beacons provided in ground drift conditions.


Sunday 12 December 1965

One of best days weatherwise, but unfortunately bad luck prevented us from taking full advantage of it. John [Gordon] and Peter [McGrath] in the Snow Trac could not find a suitable forward point until they came to within a little over a mile from NM/S/89. Used platform on D4, but a little unstable (however feel this can be eliminated). Did verticals back to Dave [Carter] at NM/S/88 and full readings at NM/S/89. Moved up to Peter [McGrath] at NM/S/90, John [Gordon] and Brian [Woinarski] going on the Polaris to Keith [Watson] at NM/S/91. Jock [McGhee] and Pat [Bensley] moved on with D4. John's [Gordon] Tellurometer (no 360) packed up halfway through fine readings but leg was 6 miles.


Monday 13 December 1965

Whiteout most of the day. Finished off book work for some of the time. John [Gordon] diagnosed Tellurometer trouble as dirty contacts on function switch. Tested it after tea - all okay. Weather at midnight whiteoutish but clearing. Managed to complete the outstanding Tellurometer work by 0400, but unable to do theodolite work as the forward party of Dave [Woinarski] and Brian [Woinarski] had sited the station down in a hollow in comparison with the horizon.


Tuesday 15 December 1965

A great day. Back to NM/S/91 with Dave [Carter] and Peter [McGrath] in Snow Trac and did connection NM/S/91 - [NM/S/]92 1030 to 1240, distance being over eight miles. Up to NM/S/92, met caravans and Mick [Poulton] stayed with us instead of Peter [McGrath] as they moved on. Had to elevate Tellurometer at NM/S/92, but conditions worsened so no horizontals. On to NM/S/93, John [Gordon] and Pat [Bensley] setting up NM/S/94, as now conditions had improved. Left Dave [Carter] and Mick [Poulton] to do tellurometer and verticals at NM/S/93 while Peter [McGrath] and I [Max Corry] went back to NM/S/92 (still no luck) so returned to caravans at NM/S/93 at 2230.


Thursday 16 December 1965

Bad whiteout all day. Confined to caravans reducing observations. Range of pressures between different altimeters in same battery causing concern. Unable to check the faulty ones accurately enough. Digital barometers should prove better.


Friday 17 December 1965

Drift prevented any survey work, but both trains moved 2 miles up to NM/S/94. Plotted tentative results on compilation sheets; some amazing comparisons.


Saturday 18 December 1965

Another day of medium drift. Spent most of day on star predictions for astronomy at Depot Peak.


Sunday 19 December 1965

Heavy drift continued all day. Little done except for a couple of check comp[utation]s.


Monday 20 December 1965

Confined to caravans all day by heavy drift. So far survey on snow plateau has been possible on eleven days out of a total of 25 days and Peter [McGrath] informs us that since we left Mawson 45 days ago, we have spent 25 days confined to tents and caravans. We have been able to do a complete day's work on only two occasions.


Tuesday 21 December 1965

Still high drift, 40 knot winds. Received cable from Natmap sending congratulations on progress so far; hard to imagine what they would be doing if we had had our share of decent weather.


Wednesday 22 December 1965

Drift eased; but not enough to conduct survey. Some preparations dome after tea: mainly digging out sledges from drifts of up to five feet high.


Thursday 23 December 1965

Weather improved. Up [at] 0600. Polaris (Pat [Bensley] and John [Gordon]) away at 0810. Tellurometer contact 0940. Did complete measurement at NM/S/94. Had planned to return to NM/S/92 for horizontals, but second [and remaining] Snow Trac was now permanently out of commission. Left NM/S/94 at 1230 with train, but soon transferred to Polaris with Brian [Woinarski] at 62T15 and tidied up markers on the Amery Highway a bit. Excellent view of Depot Peak from NM/S/95, six miles west of Depot B. Erected a portable beacon there and also a three drum beacon to serve as a backsight for horizontal angles at Depot Peak. Arrived Depot B 2015 and spent evening digging out and sorting food supplies.


Friday 24 December 1965

Reorganisation and Christmas celebration. Stacked and stock took food supplies with Dave [Carter] then sorted out survey gear on sledge and in workshop caravan. Radio Australia a washout, but had a good social sked with Mawson. Helped Jock [McGhee] make up 3 drum beacons. Wonder [why] more of these haven't been used in the past for trail markers. Loaded drums after excellent Christmas dinner. Beautiful day - virtually no wind in the afternoon and evening. Adjusted survey camera bubble - was having trouble with it transiting.


Saturday 25 December 1965

Weather took a turn for the worse - semi whiteout and drift but still able to travel. Big difference when not having to worry about survey work. Brain [Woinarski] and self [Max Corry] acted as pathfinders. Away 1015 on Polaris (Brian driving). Polaris excellent for this job, self sitting on sledge with compass and communicating with driver every so often by means of hand signals. Coupled with excellent route marking cf. previous section (thoroughness on Autumn trip certainly paid dividends) good progress made to first drum 3 miles south of Depot B, where halt to fix oil line in Mr. W. On again but whiteout halted train for the day 4 miles from Depot B. Blizzed in later.


Sunday 26 December 1965

Blizzard getting worse; winds over sixty [knots]. Little done but had informative discussion on A.N.A.R.E. vehicles.


Monday 27 December 1965

No work, still blizzing.


Tuesday 28 December 1965

No work, blizzard continued. Now don't have any extra time to extend traverse beyond Depot Peak. Considering the weather, it's a miracle that we have got as far as we have.


Wednesday 29 December 1965

Blizzard continued. Learnt today that the Russians are doing field work (geology and some glaciology) about 200 miles away from us at Manning Nunataks across the Amery Ice Shelf. From there they plan to go to Grove Mountains, Beaver Lake and the southern Prince Charles [Mountains].


Thursday 30 December 1965

Heavy drift all day; eased about midnight. Dug out sledges 0300 but decided to leave travelling till the morning.


Friday 31 December 1965

Weather improved, so pushed on to Depot Peak. Brian [Woinarski] and self [Max Corry] laid out a new route (virtually a straight line and round the southern end of the outcrop avoiding crevassing on both sides). Climbed Peak 4 of Depot Peak to investigate the countryside. Could see five of the Stinear Nunataks clearly. Met train which halted about mile south of the ridge. Pat [Bensley], John [Gordon], Mick [Poulton], Dave [Carter], Brain [Woinarski] and self [Max Corry] took the 2 drum beacon up to the peak [4] and erected it near Dovers [Mawson 1954] old rock cairn between 1800 to 2030. Saw in New Year for rest of the night.


Saturday 1 January 1966

Little done because of whiteout. Did a few more [star] predictions and a little exploration of the ridge.


Sunday 2 January 1966

Took risk on doubtful morning. Pat [Bensley] and John [Gordon] left on Polaris at 0915 for NM/S/95 eighteen miles away. Up to [Depot Peak survey] station and started horizontals at midday. NM/S/95 beacon clear, the 44 mile leg to Stinear Nunataks hazy. Tellurometer and verticals finished 1430. Went for walk around Depot Peak with Brian [Woinarski]. Peak 3 [seems] definitely unclimbable to all except the most experienced mountaineers. Back up to station at 1930 for astro[nomical observations] but luck had run out. Forced to give it away at 2300.


Monday 3 January 1966

Oncoming cloud and the amount of delays to trip made us press on, leaving astro uncompleted (Survey only possible 12 out of 38 days and 32 out of 58 days confined to quarters). Went out on Polaris and made new [route navigation] tables for Depot Peak to Stinear Highway. Straightened up a few legs as best as possible but whiteout caused halt on reaching Stinear Highway at 1430.


Tuesday 4 January 1966

Semi whiteout all day, but still able to travel. Took Polaris into Depot B, straightening up stake line on the way. Loaded depoted gear at Depot B then Brian [Woinarski] and self [Max Corry] pressed on to NM/S/95 to do the horizontals. Dropped drums off en route to NM/S/94 where the Snow Trac was loaded.


Wednesday 5 January 1966

Away early. Dave [Carter] and self [Max Corry] leading on Polaris to NM/S/93 and took round of terrestrials [photographs] there. Trouble with release mechanism on camera meant two films had to be exposed. Travelled with [tractor] trains to NM/S/92. Did verticals back to NM/S/93 (John [Gordon] and Pat [Bensley] there with Polaris). Trouble with [Wild] T3 [theodolite] horizontal circle lighting meant using [spare] T2 [theodolite] (what a let down). Rode on sledge to NM/S/91 improving route where necessary then Brian [Woinarski] and self [Max Corry] took Polaris on a further 6 miles before stopping at 2300.


Thursday 6 January 1966

Dave [Carter] and self [Max Corry] away at 0915 on Polaris up to NM/S/90 where erected beacon and took another round of terrestrials [photographs]. Up to NM/S/89 for horizontals then back and collected beacon, catching [tractor] trains at NM/S/88. Rode on train till 62T8 then Brain [Woinarski] and self [Max Corry] on Polaris improving route to Depot A. For rest of evening, rode on sledge digging out [an] occasional drum. Camped near NM/S/81.


Friday 7 January 1966

Away on Polaris with Brian [Woinarski] stopping at NM/S/80 placing drum beacon and portable beacon. On again, but had trouble with markers till 62T1. Reached base of Twintop at 1630 and up to NM/S/12 [on Twintop summit] doing horizontals 1700 - 1800. Had trouble with progressive lateral refraction (range of 10" between three sets). Down to Depot; D4's arriving at same time.


Saturday 8 January 1966

Up to Twintop [summit] again on Polaris with Dave [Carter] to check horizontals 1000 - 1240. Both D4's went out to collect broken down Snow Trac 6 miles away; one getting slotted in the process. Dog team (John Bennett, Greg Martin, Bob Lachel and Attila Vrana) arrived at 1500 and D4's back at 1900.


Sunday 9 January 1966

Away 0845 after 0630 rise. Rode on Snow Trac on sledge for 9 miles when whiteout caused halt at 1200. Stopped for seven hours during which Russian aeroplanes heard. On again at 1900, but slotted badly a few times near Hordern Gap, so were forced to spend the night on the Twintop side of Depot [at Hordern Gap] after using tractors in tandem for the last section.


Monday 10 January 1966

Whiteout prevented departure till 1240, but after initial holdups due to snow conditions, made good progress. Led some of the way into Rumdoodle with Polaris which performs reasonably on ice if taken slowly. Many of the markers between Hordern Gap and Rumdoodle had disappeared, there being a lot of accumulation over winter. Off loaded food at Rumdoodle caravan and inspected the two Russian An-2 planes on the Russian airfield. Took Polaris on a 20 mph + jaunt down to Gwamm but had to be towed across the large melt streams. Met the visiting Russians; then down to Mawson after midnight.


Tuesday 11 January 1966

Morning off. Started unpacking caravans and sledges in afternoon and some of the evening.


Wednesday 12 January 1966

Continued unloading operations morning and early afternoon. Started work on a map board for survey office in the late afternoon. Helped Pat [Bensley] in evening, sealing and carting cement.


Thursday 13 January 1966

Office work and work on map board occupied most of the day.


Friday 14 January 1966

Office work in Rymill all day.


Saturday 15 January 1966

Started survey report of spring trip in morning. Station duties some of the afternoon.


Sunday 16 January 1966

Morning off with a little work on report in afternoon.


Monday 17 January 1966

More work on report in morning. Night watch afternoon and evening.


Tuesday 18 January 1966

Morning and early afternoon off after night watch. Finished report before tea.


Wednesday 19 January 1966

Did a bit of cleaning up in Rymill during morning and early afternoon. Station duties during late afternoon.


Thursday 20 January 1966

More office work including reduction of tellurometer measurements as far as depressions were concerned. Started developing Spring trip films in afternoon with Gil Webster.


Friday 21 January 1966

Finished off films during morning. A light leak ruined a few films. Finished off Tellurometer depressions PM.


Saturday 22 January 1966

Morning in office on computations checking distances for radio office. All afternoon on station duties including cleanup of Rymill surroundings.


Sunday 23 January 1966

Day off.


Monday 24 January 1966

Finished off comp[utation]s in morning. On navigation tables early afternoon then unpacking field gear from spring trip. Printed 35 mm photos in evening till 2300.


Tuesday 25 January 1966

Slushy duties for most of the day.


Wednesday 26 January 1966

Printed some of the survey camera photos for use in 1966 field work. Station duties late afternoon and evening hosing down part of station.


Thursday 27 January 1966

Glazed photographs and then annotating some. Rest of day on navigation tables from Spring trip.


Friday 28 January 1966

Most of day on navigation tables but a little photographic work.


Saturday 29 January 1966

More work on navigation tables and photos in morning. Station duties in afternoon.


Sunday 30 January 1966

Day off.


Monday 31 January 1966

Office work including preparing table of Mawson dogs, coupled with station duties.


Tuesday 1 February 1966

Office work and general cleaning up.


Wednesday 2 February 1966

On general camp clean up all day.


Thursday 3 February 1966

Our long stay was broken today. The helicopters landed before the 'Nella Dan' pulled into Mawson Harbour just after midday. Much rejoicing but helped [with] a little unloading. A great day.


Friday 4 February 1966

Drove Ferguson tractor all morning and some of afternoon [for unloading operations] but spent some time with Ron Wilson of Natmap [a round tripper].


Saturday 5 February 1966

Unloading including much [Ferguson] tractor driving in the morning. Went out to the ship in afternoon and had discussion with Ron [Wilson] re coastal survey. Also some office work after finding out some confusion with [survey] station numbers.


Sunday 6 February 1966

Unloading operations all day.


Monday 7 February 1966

Unloading operations all day.


Tuesday 8 February 1966

Day spent unpacking [John] Quinert's [Mawson 1966 Surveyor] gear, indoctrination and some packing of RTA [Return To Australia] equipment.


Wednesday 9 February 1966

Spent all day on indoctrination with John Quinert except for brief meeting after tea to discuss 1966 field trips. Strongly urged an Autumn depoting trip be run. Dr P G [Law] decided for one and [I] personally felt this [was] the right step in all directions.


Thursday 10 February 1966

More indoctrination in the morning coupled with packing of R.T.A. survey equipment. Went for run up to Fischer [Nunatak] in Snow Trac during afternoon with Keith Watson, Peter Baggott (Mawson 1965), Norm Hawkins (DUKW crew) & John Quinert [Mawson 1966]. Back for tea.


Friday 11 February 1966

Actual changeover of personnel occurred during morning. Afternoon spent on board ship but went up to David Range [by helicopter] in late evening for photos of tellurometer with P.G.L. [Dr PG Law, Antarctic Division Director].


Saturday 12 February 1966

Morning ashore, afternoon on board ship. Changeover party at night.


Sunday 13 February 1966

100 knot blizzard caused all shore personnel to remain there till 1730.


Monday 14 February 1966

Morning ashore. Afternoon back on board ship.


Tuesday 15 February 1966

Ship left [Horseshoe] harbour around 0800 but anchored in Kista Strait for a while to put work party ashore with DUKW to transport new aerials to Hump Island. Left 1000. Rest of day uneventful, but echo sounding continued.


Wednesday 16 February 1966

Ship traversed front of [Amery] Ice Shelf.


Thursday 17 February 1966

Reached [eastern] end of Amery [Ice Shelf]. Went ashore to do [astronomical] obs[ervations] on Kista Island, but too cloudy, so collected lichens instead.


Friday 18 February 1966

Ashore again in morning, this time to rock 3 miles south of Lichen Island. Took azimuth observations for Geophysicist [John Haigh].


Saturday 19 February 1966

Anchored [off] Davis in morning. All day ashore. Station very clean but inhabited by numerous elephant seals [this was the first year in a four year closure period of Davis station]. Went for walk in Vestfold Hills, back to ship for tea. Ship departed after tea.


Sunday 20 February to Saturday 26 February.

At sea. Nothing much done except occasional echo sounding watch on the first couple of days.


Sunday 27 February to Tuesday 1 March 1966

Conditions worsened causing decrease in progress.


Wednesday 2 March 1966

[Ship] Arrived [off] Lewis Island mid morning. Ship's boat unable to land landing party so pontoon inflated after tea for another attempt tomorrow.


Thursday 3 March 1966

Early morning attempt abandoned due [to] high winds. Ship left 0500. Conditions worsened about midday, barometer dropped 40 mbs in 9 hours, winds 80 knots, visibility down to a few yards. Ship about 50 miles from coast had to heave into the wind.


Friday 4 March 1966

Storm abating a little after extremely hectic night; the worst part being fear of hitting medium sized icebergs which cannot be picked up by radar.


Saturday 5 March 1966 to Wednesday 9 March 1966

In complete comparison to the previous days, the voyage has settled down and everyone is enjoying the more pleasant conditions.


Thursday 10 March 1966

On this, the last day on the little red tub and more important the last day away from Aussie, one pauses on reflection. The previous year both personally and workwise has been a very satisfying one and this is due undoubtably to the very harmonious co-operation received from the 26 other Mawson personnel.