This week at Casey 26 February 2010
A smaller team
Today is the four-month anniversary for the last of the summer personnel in Antarctica. We arrived at McMurdo on the 26th Oct to a different society. Here we are now at the end of summer, with only the CASA crew, the last of the summer Wilkins crew and four summerers at Casey to depart on the final plane.
This week is certainly a quiet change from all the others, with a near winter-size community left, obvious by looking around at the mess and wallow areas at night. The mess has been reconfigured for winter, the rosters have disappeared, the fire tag board is almost empty, no one is off station and of course the sun is coming up later and later each day: all signs that winter is coming.
I started off this week by packing cargo for the upcoming final flight, and then went to my spare task of horticulturist, unpacking and arranging the new plastic flowers for the station. This will now hopefully cheer up the wintering crew, as we place some lovely mondo grass, ferns and hydrangeas around the place.
We also dragged out the new Guitar Hero Wii game and Call of Duty to bide the time waiting for the call that we are all leaving. It wasn't too long before the bright lights of the virtual rock world started to shine. Rod Robertson (CASA Pilot), Narelle Campbell and Martin Boyle showed their skills, while others like myself battled to strum in tune. Narelle and Martin have started the new band called SLOPS (Station Leader and Ops), to replace Ice Elated and Ben Irish and the Dirt Diggers, who unfortunately were only here for the one performance. Their guitar strumming and twanging was of an average standard, but it drew a large enthusiastic crowd.
By Mick Clarke
The West Wing project is still coming along with Peter and Shane getting involved in the last minute foundation work preparations before the containers are lifted into place, giving the station a much needed increase of rooms. This will limit the number of expeditioners staying outside in the vans next summer.
And while the guys were focussed on the West Wing construction, Fitzy was hard at it in the waste treatment plant.
During the week the spa was used and one of our colleagues decided he needed to throw in a small amount of detergent – for therapeutic purposes of course – but not to the amusement of Fitzy who had to clean the spa.
With the AWS (automatic weather station) down for a few days Tod and Ray Ray made their way to Wilkins Aerodrome to see what was needed to get it up and running again.
Last Friday Narelle, Pete and Ross made the three hour journey to Wilkins to call in and see how Jeff and the team were doing, and to discuss how the winter team could support the aviation team prior to their arrival back on station next summer. Poor Ross – the trip was a bit too much for him – five minutes after we left Wilkins he was asleep, and he slept the whole three hours back to Casey.
Field Parties and Casey Scenery