This week at Casey 15 January 2010

It's difficult to put into words the type of week we have just experienced… the week started off like a regular Casey week… sunshine, melt streams, grunting penguins, sleepy seals, chirpy white snow petrels, happy expeditioners doing what happy expeditioners do (work and play) …

The work …

Gary, Danny and Fitzy repairing the sewerage pipeline
Gary, Danny and Fitzy repairing the sewerage pipeline
Photo: Gary Bolitho

And play …

Casey expeditioners watch Adelie penguins from IRB
It doesn't get any better than this …
Photo: Robert MacGregor

Sunday afternoon saw the Casey Station Diplomat team Matt aka Mattlodip and Dr Clive flown to the visiting Chinese ship, the Xue Long (Snow Dragon) to act as tour guides for a group of Chinese Expeditioners – the tour started with a visit to Shirley Island then on to Wilkes.

The tour group enjoyed a boat trip over to Shirley Island to visit the usual suspects, the Adélie families who so often host curious visitors from nearby Casey station.

Matt and Clive, Casey's tour guides with the Xue Long in the background
Matt and Clive, Casey's tour guides with the Xue Long in the background
Photo: Matt Ryan

Adélie toddlers, their parents and the obligatory predatory skuas put on a great show for those with cameras … memory cards were filled while the penguins fed, argued, played and generally lived up to the expectations of penguins.

Casey expeditioners with Chinese visitors
Matt and Clive explain Wilkes history to our curious friends
Photo: Matt Ryan

The next stop was the old station at Wilkes where our visitors walked amongst the old buildings and buried remnants while learning the history from gushing tour guides Clive and Matt – pity the interpreter couldn't keep up with Matt and Clive's fast and enthusiastic guiding. Oh well, the good news is our friends were able to take many great happy snaps and that makes everyone a winner. What a great way to spend a Sunday arvo …

by Matt

Then it all changed…

First challenge of the week – Cookie (2009 Station Leader) decided to take one of the Casey expeditioners (no need to mention who she was as she had no influence over what occurred) on a tour of the Casey surrounds before he (Cookie) were to fly back to Australia after spending over 12 months on station.

Cookie, an experienced station leader/expeditioner/outdoors man, while showing the sites of the numerous field huts, got bogged not just once, but twice and to top it off led his traveling companion into deep slushy ice and water as well… He then proceeded to demonstrate to his traveling companion the professional way to recover his quad… and here's the proof…

Bogged quad bike
Cookie's quad bike, stuck nicely
Photo: Narelle Campbell
Two bogged quad bikes
Cookie says, 'trust me, go this way and you won't get bogged'
Photo: Narelle Campbell
Using quad recovery kit
Cookie demonstrating how to use the quad recovery kit
Photo: Narelle Campbell
Casey expeditioner lifting quad bike from bog
OK, quad recovery kit failed, I'll lift it
Photo: Narelle Campbell
Maybe this method will work
Maybe this method will work
Photo: Narelle Campbell
Casey expeditioner recovering quad bike from bog
or this way
Photo: Narelle Campbell

One and a half hours later … the quads left the scene !!!

Then, a few days later …

On route to Wilkins Runway at 3.30am to meet the airbus, our new tracked truck had a little mishap, it decided it didn't like the icy pot hole and ended up retiring for the day – the Dieso Doctors were called in to assist…

Casey expeditioner with derailed tracked truck
Mick with the derailed tracked truck
Photo: Matt Ryan

The medical evacuation of a Chinese expeditioner from Russia's Progress II station via Davis meant a very busy week at Casey, Davis and Wilkins. It was a superb effort all round. The Acting Director Virginia Mudie has expressed her thanks to all involved for making the evacuation happen so swiftly and professionally.

Four aircraft at Wilkins Aerodrome
A busy day at Wilkins Aerodrome
Photo: Martin Boyle