26 October 2007
This week's news is brought to you by Doctor Cad, and Casey's one and only Station Leader (for this week anyway), Denis.
Welcome to a hectic Casey! As cricket commentator Bill Lawry would say, "It's all happening!"
The Aurora Australis (V2) is on its way from Hobart to Casey (departing Saturday 20th, due on the 1st of November). The station is a hive of activity with infrastructure projects being finished, the Red Shed has undergone its annual "Spring Clean", expeditioners are packing, RTA cargo is being prepared, the wildlife is returning again, last minute field trips are being undertaken and the skiway is being groomed and smoothed for the CASA aircraft which are expected to arrive at any time.
With the V2 arrival to involve helicopter operations for flying off cargo and the incoming 07/08 summer team, Lagey and Robbie were busy 'pushing snow' away from the helipads
There really are only two seasons and two temperatures in Antarctica, summer and winter: cold and colder. The days are certainly much brighter and longer now with sunrise around 4:30am and sunset around 8:15pm. It won't be long before the 24 hour daylight is back with us again as each passing day is providing up to 8 mins more daylight, all of which provides the feeling that winter has gone and summer is nearly here once more.
Not to be outdone, the Wilkins crew will also have the opportunity to make the most of the good weather this summer with the addition of a "sundeck" to their comms van (under the guise of antenna mounting frames)…… nothing is too good for our runway crew!
Matt and Aaron will be able to sit up there and keep an eye on their workers as they fabricate the next stages of the runway in preparation for the arrival of the much anticipated A319.
During our final weeks, there have been quite a few trips heading out for last minute R&R to Wilkes, Robbos and Petersen huts. \
Without doubt though, the most popular destination has been Penny Bay with the Weddell seals pupping around Little Herring Island and an occasional leopard seal and a lost emperor penguin also seen standing around. The perfect Casey weather allowed time for many photo opportunities.
Forget about the 'March of the Penguins', the 'Charge of the Penguins' was experienced recently on the sea ice in O'Brien Bay as a pack of Adelie penguins made their way in a hurry towards Shirley Island (an Adelie rookery) for another season of mating and moulting.
As our year is drawing to a close, Frank and Cad have taken on the arduous task of medical and food resupply to the outlying field huts. After a much restricted winter with recurrent blizzards and uncomfortable weather, the trips were eagerly anticipated.
Jack's Donga hut provided an ongoing problem with blizz filling up the doorway, but NOTHING will stop Frank from getting to food…
Thankfully the weather and conditions were better at Robbo's Hut, with nature depositing the snow outside the hut!
Birthdays are always a special time in Antarctica and so it was for our youngest 'pup' on station, D.A.V.E., who celebrated it in typical Australian fashion ….. an Aussie BBQ in the Dieso's workshop!
Life at an Antarctic station is certainly never dull and you can never be certain what will happen next, what impact the 'A' factor will bring, what wildlife you will see, what weather phenomena will occur, or what will break next.
As most of the 'Men from Casey' winter team will be aboard the big orange ship next week heading towards Davis to do their 'resupply' for them (they're not capable), we hope you have enjoyed the weekly news editions from Casey Station throughout the year.
A special thank you to our Station News coordinator, Ian, who has ensured that we never missed an edition and that they were always in on time.
From all of the winterers at Casey… we say goodbye for the last time as we sail