This week at Casey 30 May 2008

Hello from Casey.

Last week's news mentioned briefly that a group had just returned from the Browning Peninsula. So here is their news and some photos. There were 2 primary objectives of the trip. The first was cane line maintenance on the Browning route from Price's Corner (the turn off from the main Casey to Wilkins Route) to the field hut on the peninsula.

Two drum beacons (B-02 and B-03) were placed at major turns and 25 canes with tins were placed where the route passes close to the ice cliffs. This is the first time that this maintenance has been done on the Browning route in several years.

Hagglunds from Casey Station at Price's Corner on route between Station and field hut on Browning Peninsula
The Hägglunds at Price's Corner (A-13, Browning turnoff).
Photo: Tom
Expeditioners performing maintenance work on the cane line from Casey Station to Browning Peninsula
Wayne drilling and Brownie with the cane.
Photo: Dan

The second objective was the first stage of VHF radio performance tests for coverage along the Casey to Wilkins GPS route. This entailed installing a temporary repeater on the Browning Peninsula high ridge whilst a second vehicle traveled the Casey to Wilkins route.

In operation the radios performed well and readability was good at all locations from A-11 to Wilkins, except outside the Wilkins mess hut. We started the tests at waypoint A-11 since VHF channel 7 coverage to Casey from that point is excellent.

However, by the time the vehicle had reached the Wilkins mess hut the batteries had gone flat at Browning ridge.

Expeditioners on the Browning Peninsula high ridge at sunrise to test a temporary repeater station for radio coverage between Wilkins runway and Casey Station
The guys were on the high ridge before the sun rose.
Photo: Dan
Communications Officer configuring the temporary repeater atop Browning Peninsula high ridge
Communications Technical Officer, Dan enthusiastically configuring the repeater.
Photo: Dan
Expeditioners waiting on the Browning Peninsula high ridge during radio coverage testing.
Brownie, Wayne and Tom stoically remaining on the Browning high ridge until the testing was completed.
Photo: Dan
Expeditioners with iced up beards
Tom and Brownie – it was not only the batteries that froze.
Photo: Tom

With the 2 primary objectives achieved, a little bit of sightseeing was in order.

Vanderford Glacier near Casey Station
The Vanderford Glacier.
Photo: Dan
Interesting rock formations on the Browning peninsula near Casey Station
Interesting rock formations on the Browning Peninsula.
Photo: Tom

After some glorious weather last week, this week was dominated by wind. From when the wind picked up on Thursday morning to when it died down on Monday night, the wind run had 9148 km on the clock. That is an average of 80 km/h for the entire 5 days. The strongest gust was recorded on Sunday morning at 207 km/h. In the 5 days, 2 periods of blizzard conditions occurred and a reasonable dump of powder snow fell on Tuesday.

In work news:

  • Brad is currently servicing the SAR Hägglunds after servicing the Challenger.
  • Michael has been investigating the cause of a dozer moving under test in the workshop.
  • Garry and Sam are tidying, sorting and swapping parts between 4 E boxes of rigging, oils and fuels and spare parts.
  • Simon upgraded the power in and around the Tardis in the Green Store and installed lighting in the freezer for the new extension.
  • Craig and Wayne have removed the UV steriliser from the Waste Treatment Plant and renovated their plumbery.
  • Cyril has been inundated with administration.
  • Heleen has been testing the potable water supplies at various locations around the station.
  • Dominic and Dan have done more wiring in Science and fitted the radar to the yellow Hägglunds.
  • Brownie is making a door for the plant room which opens onto the mezzanine floor of the carpentry workshop.

Tuesday was Wayne's 30th birthday. Some decorations were placed in the mess, Richard baked a cake and we all sang Happy Birthday. A good roll up at the bar ensured Wayne had a memorable day.

Birthday message for Expeditioner
Wayne's birthday.
Photo: Dan
Expeditioner preparing drinks at Splinters Bar at Casey Station
Wayne preparing shooters with Michael behind at Splinters bar.
Photo: Dan

To finish off the week, Fire Chief Joel organised the monthly fire exercise with a search for a missing person. The Fire Team used breathing apparatus with their visors blackened. Other members of the Fire Team cleared the station hydrants of snow.

Until next week, Cheers from Casey.