This week at Casey: 26 September 2008

The early part of the week was characterised by blizzards and very heavy snowfall, however, the winds eased later in the week and a bright sunny day was experienced by weeks end. Gale force winds and blowing snow were recorded on Friday and when Tom released the weather balloon on Friday night in 60 knot winds, the sonde and balloon smashed into the ground rupturing the balloon.

Casey Station Senior Weather Observer with smashed sonde and ruptured weather balloon.
Tom and the smashed sonde and ruptured balloon.
Photo: Tom.

With a blizzard on Saturday our communal duties were restricted to mainly inside work. Craig, Dan, Tod and Tom worked in hydroponics. Craig manufactured some new filters and these were installed; the water in the tanks was changed and new seedlings were planted in perlite.

Casey Station Expeditioner emptying water from hydroponic tanks.
Dan emptying water collected from the tanks.
Photo: Todor
Casey Station Expeditioners working in hydroponics shed
Tom and Craig working in hydroponics.
Photo: Todor

In another duty Cyril and Bob assisted Heleen in disposing of out-of-date medicines. Although it was rather repetitive, pulling the caps off bottles, emptying various powders into Sharps Bins and recycling glass bottles, it gave us all time to chat together for a couple of hours.

Another fine Saturday night dinner was prepared by Richard. Barbecued garlic chilli squid and caramel tartlets were 2 of my choices. Heavy snow fell on Saturday afternoon and all through Saturday night.

Snow covered Quad bike outside Casey Station Red Shed.
Quad bike outside the Red Shed.
Photo: Tom.
Casey Station ute covered in snow
I think there is a Ute under the snow.
Photo: Tom.

It was very windy early on Sunday but by mid afternoon the wind dropped and Craig, Brownie, Tod, Joel and Bob decided to walk a circuit around the Recreation Area on the sea-ice. The clouds came and went and gale force winds seemed to come out of nowhere. This all created quite a dramatic sky and plenty of moods for Tod's photographs. There was deep snow, blowing snow, interesting rocks and Joel was the first to spy a flock of 17 snow petrels flying near Reeve Hill.

Casey Station Expeditioners on the sea ice in front of an iceberg
Bob, Brownie, Joel and Craig in front of an iceberg.
Photo: Todor
Looking across Newcomb Bay towards Wilkes from Kilby Island.
Looking across Newcomb bay towards Wilkes from Kilby Island.
Photo: Todor
Casey Station Expeditioners approaching McMullin Island across the sea ice
Approaching McMullin Island.
Photo: Todor

An interesting coloured rock on Shirley Island.
An interesting coloured rock on Shirley Island.
Photo: Todor
The Shirley Island Channel near Casey Station
The Shirley Island Channel.
Photo: Todor

Casey Station Expeditioners hiking back to Station across the sea ice
Heading Home.
Photo: Todor
Snow Petrels flying near Reeve Hill.
Harbingers of Spring.
Photo: Todor

In some work news the Hägglunds which went to Law Dome and suffered a fuel problem was repaired by Luc; Simon has installed the pyrogen in the RMUs and the other tradies have been laying lino in Science. This is a very hard job for this time of the year and I am very impressed that they are sticking with it. In the photo below I am not sure whether they have discovered where BSS Cyril has been sleeping during winter or whether Cyril is using a novel method of laying the lino, it must be the latter. With some improvement in weather towards the end of the week Michael and Luc headed up to the Skiway to dig out the drag beams and started to prepare the Skiway while Sam in Aleisha the big D7 towed sleds with E Boxes, the Ground Power Unit and Generator Van to A-08 as a staging point for the long trip to Wilkins runway. Heleen conducted the September medical examinations.  

Casey Station Expeditioners laying lino in Science.
Cyril and Brownie laying lino in Science.
Photo: Craig

After a long sojourn in the Wallow, the Casey sign was repaired by Craig and affixed to the signpost in preparation for the arrival of Voyage 1.

The repaired Casey Station sign back in place
It's back.
Photo: Bob