18 January 2008

Casey has exploded into a veritable hive of activity over the past week with the arrival of some 19 new residents – glaciologists, whale surveyors, penguin biologists, environmental chemists, moss scientists, a reporter, a photographer, a field guide, and our winter store-person – via the newly opened A319 Hobart to Wilkins airlink.

The busy little bees wasted no time in getting stuck into their respective projects, with a number of field expeditions having been conducted already.

Aircraft Ground Support Expeditioners at Wilkins Runway with A319 Airbus in the background
The Wilkins heroes – Steve, Danny, Warren, Matt, Gary, Geoff, Stu, Sam
Photo: Marty B
CASA 212 aircraft being readied for first Whale observation flight
Whalers preparing for first observation flight
Photo: Jenn Mcg

The Wilkins crew managed a one hour turnaround of the airbus on the weekend and have been doing a sterling job in a harsh and isolated environment, working their fingers to the bone. Hearty congratulations go to the team for their exceptional efforts.

After some smashing weather over the past few weeks here at Casey, warm temperatures mixed with plenty of sunshine and light winds has caused more than a few slushy problems for those attempting to get away for a few days. Even holiday makers on Highway One (Casey to Wilkes) encountered some lengthy delays, with some unfortunate motorists requiring a helping hand… or a really big piece of machinery.

Expeditioners retrieving a Haggland 'bogged' in snow melt
Rob, Bri and Marty busy retrieving a Hagg
Photo: Jenn Mcg
Field Training Officer assisting with Hägglunds recovery
FTO Rob doing his thing
Photo: Jenn Mcg
Challenger tractor from Wilkins Runway coming to assist 'bogged' Hägglunds
Enter The Challenger!
Photo: Marty B

Consequently, scientific and other field trips have been conducted mostly via our two IRBs, and with the weather such as it is, finding volunteers to help has been a tough business! It's a hard life, but someone has to do it.

Expeditioners in IRBs (Inflatable Rubber Boats)
Out and about in the boats
Photo: Jeremy S
Expeditioners in IRB (Inflatable Rubber Boat)
Brad and Brownie doing it tough
Photo: Marty B

While the Saturday evening A319 airbus flight to Casey (via Wilkins runway) saw the arrival of 12 new Caseyites, it also marked the end of an era: Saturday was the day our beloved electrician, Paul J, departed for Davis, where (unfortunately for him) he will spend the winter.

Our Friday afternoon drinks this week were hosted in style by 'Team Met', who managed to keep the bad weather at bay for an out-of-doors shindig which welcomed some of our newest Casey residents.

Expeditioner with a 'reverse Mohawk' haircut
Paul J sporting a typically Davis style haircut
Photo: Jenn Mcg
Expeditioners enjoying Friday night drinks at Casey Station Meteorological building
Friday drinks at Met-land
Photo: Todor I

As of this week our ever dedicated team of trades people have been diligently carrying out yearly checks and services on our main powerhouse, which is likely to keep all involved quite busy over the next week or two. In the interim we are all taking it in turn to power the station via the treadmill and bicycle in our cardio room.

Expeditioner exercising on stationary bike in Station Gym
Joel doing his bit for station power
Photo: Jenn Mcg

Amongst all the activity some have still managed to take some time off in the rec area. The arrival of our extra doctor, Lincoln, has given our summer doc, Graham, a bit of well earned R & R, away from a recent bout of dentistry work.

Expeditioner on recreational trip sitting by shoreline
Graham between a rock and a hard place
Photo: Jenn Mcghee

Another ripper week at Casey, and a fun time was had by all.

Adieu, au revoir, sayonara, ciao, arivadeci, auf wiedersehen, goodbye… Jenn and Joel.