This week at Casey: 28 November 2008

Richard served another delightful Saturday night dinner but after a quick bite, the 4 pilots, Tom, Tod and Luc departed for the Skiway and by 9.30pm, VHB Gadget soared into the sky and headed for Davis, arriving safely about 4.5 hours later.

CASA-212 aircraft 'VHB Gadget' and Chief Pilot Jorn.
VHB Gadget and Chief Pilot Jorn.
Photo: Todor
CASA-212 'Gadget' taking off from Casey Station Skiway
VHB taking off.
Photo: Todor

CASA-212 'Gadget' taking off passing the Casey Station Skiway Infrastructure and fuel drums on sleds.
Passing the Skiway Infrastructure and fuel drums on sleds.
Photo: Todor
CASA-212 'Gadget' leaving Casey Station Skiway for Davis Station
Leaving Casey for Davis.
Photo: Todor

Luc, John and Troy spent another two hours clearing the snow from the apron area whilst Tom continued to produce 30 minute METARS, and Dominic in the Communications Office maintained contact with the plane. METARS and communication was also maintained at the Davis end.

A heavy snow fall early in the week continued to make life difficult at Wilkins. The Adélie penguins left distinct marks in the snow and quad drivers had difficulty with bogged vehicles.

Penguin tracks in the soft snow.
Penguin tracks in the soft snow.
Photo: Bob
Casey Station Expeditioners with quad bikes bogged in soft snow
Bogged quads in the snow.
Photo: Todor
Casey Station Expeditioners pushing a bogged quad bike out of soft snow
Quad travel is not always easy.
Photo: Todor

After operating and occupying Wilkins continuously since 18th October, we left the camp unattended from Friday night until Tuesday. On our return the generator van was purring and all was in order. The camp is now permanently manned until changeover of crews next week.

Casey Station Expeditioners preparing to depart for Wilkins Runway
Preparing to depart for Wilkins.
Photo: Bob
Casey Station Expeditioner preparing to leave for Wilkins Runway
Plant Operator Extraordinaire.
Photo: Bob

We have received some complaints that our Casey News rarely features our Store man. In order to keep everyone happy we dragged Leighton out of the Store on Tuesday and got him to Shirley Island together with our professional cameraman and Craig.

Casey Station Expeditioner with Station in the background.
Leighton with Casey in the background.
Photo: Todor
Casey Station Expeditioners with Adelie penguins in background
Two plumbers, one current and one retired.
Photo: Todor
Casey Station Expeditioner with Adelie penguins
Leighton and penguins.
Photo: Todor

The silver lining of being "stranded" at Casey is that we have been able to better enjoy the wildlife in November. The snow petrels that only last week were chattering away, mating and taking synchronized flights, have departed on a short honeymoon before returning to lay their eggs. The Wilson's storm-petrels are flitting around everywhere. The Adélie penguins are on the eggs and the skuas are raiding the colonies. The elephant seals are returning to Peterson Island to moult.

Wilson's storm-petrel.
Wilson's storm-petrel.
Photo: Todor
Elephant seals on Peterson Island. near Casey Station
Elephant seals on Peterson Island.
Photo: Todor
Moulting elephant seal.
Moulting elephant seal.
Photo: Todor

Adelie penguin captured in mid-air diving into the ocean
Who said-penguins cannot fly?
Photo: Todor
Casey Station Expeditioner walking near an Adelie penguin colony with a Skua flying overhead
A penguin's worst enemies on land -humans and skuas.
Photo: Todor

A couple of News segments back we reported on the Sioux bottle capper and asked if anyone knew when it had arrived at Wilkes/Casey. The following 2 replies confirm that the bottle capper arrived at Wilkes in 1966.

I don't recall the bottle capper being at Wilkes in 1965. We used a hammer and hand-held capper that year for our home brew. Scruffy S.

but

This was in use at Wilkes in '66 when a dozen dozen were made by the brewing "board" at least monthly. A few bottles were placed on the bar nightly and if the mood was to "kick on" an IBM (instant board meeting) was held and more bottles were produced from the brewery, in one of the Jamesways, to keep the party swinging. Noel B.

The Sioux bottle capper at Casey Station
The Sioux bottle capper.
Photo: Bob

Two final photos. The first one shows an old medical sign on a piece of weathered wood, which I look at every month when weighing in. The last photo shows a photo of a 212 pilot in a space ship.

The sign in the medical suite.
The sign in the medical suite.
Photo: Bob
CASA 212 pilot
CASA 212 pilot in a Martian space ship.
Photo: Todor

Until next week, best wishes from all at Casey.

This page was last modified on 28 November 2008.