Port Sorell electrician Daniel Boskell on work and life on Antarctica's Davis Station

Port Sorell sparky Daniel Boskell at work on the Davis Station in Antarctica. Picture: Australian Antarctic Division
Port Sorell sparky Daniel Boskell at work on the Davis Station in Antarctica. Picture: Australian Antarctic Division

In 2020, 'isolation' may have been one of the most commonly uttered words.

But few applied for isolation, and fewer still self-imposed that isolation in late 2019.

But north-west coast Tasmanian electrician Daniel Boskell chose isolation in Antarctica and, ironically, has managed to avoid the isolation forced by the coronavirus.

"Originally the plan was to be here for 12 months," Mr Boskell said.

"As much as we'd like to say we have missed out on the whole global pandemic, 12 months has turned into 16 months.

"[That is] a testimony to where we are on the planet."

Mr Boskell, from Port Sorell, is one of a number of skilled workers employed at four Australian Antarctic Program sites charged with maintaining the research stations.

The AAP is currently trying to fill 25 roles for the upcoming 2021-22 season including station support, telecommunications, infrastructure, aviation, science, mechanical and medical roles.

Contracts vary according to the position and season but usually run between four and 15 months.

Mr Boskell said as a sparky he has had a chance to work on a number of projects he would never come across in Tasmania.

"The beauty of working in a role like this is that you get to cover off on all aspects of a community," he said.

"I have learnt all about the intricacies of generating power 1980's style with diesel generators, and hand in hand with this we recover the heat from the diesel generators to pump around station via our 'heating hot water' reticulation system to keep all of our buildings warm.

"Systems like this aren't widely used in Australia so it's been great exposure to a niche in the trade."


And, of course, being in Antarctica has given him the opportunity to experience things outside of work he would never otherwise have had the chance to see.

"Whether it's walking to work under the lights of the Aurora Australis, stepping out into a blizzard, soaking up the midnight sun during summer [or] having a troupe of penguins waddling up for a thorough inspection.

[You have] time to focus on any and all of life's little mastery's and hobbies and then of course the other worldly feel every single time you step outside."

He said to apply for a role with the program required a "sense of pure adventure" and willingness to "take a massive leap" out of your comfort zone.

Applications for next season's roles close on January 21, 2021. Visit jobs.antarctica.gov.au for more information.

This story Antarctic sparky takes 'massive leap from comfort zone' first appeared on The Examiner.