"Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go"
We have had the pleasant company of fourteen international visitors who were wintering at Concordia and presently transiting through Casey and then returning home via an A319 flight.
Initially we decided to “adopt a Frenchman” (an all male French contingent) so they could mix and become part of the general population on station. They expressed interest in helping out with any tasks we may require assistance with around station. Communications (comms) were one of the sections that took them up on this offer. The task was to expose cable trays so that we would be able to complete a fibre optic cable run from the operations building to the ANARESAT (Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition Satellite Dish) building. The attendance was high from the French team, for this laborious task. From there it was “Hi Ho Hi Ho off to work we go” as we travelled from one challenge to the next. They just kept returning! After morning tea and again after lunch, I was expecting reduced numbers but it was not the case. After spending a full day outside clearing lots of snow and ice of the cable trays we had progressed as far as we could and from there, there was remaining one section of solid ice over about six to eight metres of cable tray where we will be using some heating assistance to help us remove this rather thick layer of ice. Many have told us that this area has not been exposed for years.
It was a great day with lots of snow ball throwing and related snow fun activities, singing and for me lots of exposed cable tray, ready for the next stage of actually laying the fibre optic cable.
I will let the pictures give credit to the fantastic French volunteers who had fun in the snow and sun. Their efforts were very much appreciated by comms at Casey. I must also thank Luke and Jason who also assisted and joined in the fun throughout the day.