Taken from sections of the report:
This report has been prepared as a supplement to the 1997/98 Survey Report by John Hyslop and contains solely comments and recommendations as seen from the perspective of the volunteer survey student. It is hoped this report may be of some use in the future planning and operation of Surveying and Mapping expeditions to Antarctica.
The report has been divided ... according to each area visited and discusses the work achieved and highlights any possible improvements either in the actual surveys undertaken or the execution of the program as a whole. Typical issues include helicopter operations, aerial photography, the oblique mount, collaboration with other field parties, transportation and so on.
The voyage south provided the ideal opportunity to begin the detailed planning of the work to come. Flight planning for the photography was started and locations for photo control throughout the offshore islands at Mawson were determined. It was important to prioritize which work was to be undertaken first throughout the offshore islands at Mawson. This was to ensure the most important work was completed before the sea ice deteriorated and prevented travel on quads.
The voyage to Mawson went via Casey where the surveyors were required to undertake a small amount of work during the stop over. Ice conditions prevented the Aurora reaching Casey. John and I were unable to make it to Casey due to the long fly off and limited time. Ian Sutherland (Station Leader at Casey) informed us that snow conditions over the station would have prevented most survey work anyway. This was the perfect example that survey work in Antarctica is totally dependent on current weather conditions in addition to the 'A' factor. This highlighted the fact that all plans for work in the Antarctic are required to be 'dynamic' and hence the various priorities listed in the brief were appreciated.
It was quite frustrating spending close to 4 weeks on the Aurora before arriving on the continent and beginning the work proper. The frustration culminated in the problem with the Aurora's rudder and expeditioners being told we may be returning to Australia even though we were within fly-off distance to Mawson.