This week at Casey: 18 August 2017

A team traverse to Law Dome in very cold temperatures to conduct maintenance on the automatic weather station, we get to know plumber Paul 'Watto' Watson and Mark Grainger shares some of his favourite pictures.

Station update

We kicked of the week at Casey with screenings of the Antarctic 48 hour film festival. The entries ranged from awesome, to confusing, and were enjoyed by most of station over a two evening screening. Our votes are cast and now we standby to see how our entry 'Casey's Back' will fare…

On Monday morning the Law Dome traverse team of Misty (Trip Leader), Ducky (Deputy Trip Leader), Mark (BoM Tec), Adam (Sparky and Comms) and Muscles (Mechanic) head off station to Law Dome to undertake the annual automatic weather station maintenance. The guys encountered cold conditions below −40°C whilst working upon the summit.

Law Dome at an elevation of 1,395 metres, is the most influential factor on our weather down here on station at Casey. The automatic weather station at Law Dome is a vital component of the aviation forecasting system for this region.

Jacque Comery SL 

Traverse van all packed up and ready to go.
Traverse van all ready to go.
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
Five expeditioners with green Hägg.
Law Dome traverse team - Misty, Adam, Mark, Ducky, and Muscles.
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
Expeditioners wearing evening suits in the green store filming for the 48 hour Antarctic film festival.
Making of 'Casey's Back'
(Photo: Linc Mainsbridge)
Five expeditioners in suits on the snow during filming of the 48 hour Antarctic film festival.
Behind the scenes of the 48 hour film festival.
(Photo: Linc Mainsbridge)

5 mins with the Casey crew: Paul 'Watto' Watson

Name: Paul Watson

Nicknames: South of Hobart - Watto, Watly

From: Adelaide

Previous seasons? 2007-08 summer Davis

Job title: Plumber

Describe your role in two sentences:

Pumpin’ water, turnin’ waste and burning everything else that’s on the list. Making sure the said water and waste stay separate and on the inside of there respective tanks, pumps and pipe work till they reach there appropriate destinations without freezing.

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

Pretty much the same thing but without the freezing bit and self–employed.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey?

The people!

If you were not a plumber what would be your dream job?

The bloke that does all the stuff with the thingies… reckon his life’s pretty interesting.

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south?

Well when I was at Davis…

Every adventure is different, that’s the good thing.

What do you like to do in your spare time?


What song sums up your Casey experience so far?

'Casey’s Back'

What actor would play you in a film version of our 70th ANARE season here at Casey?

Barney Rubble now there’s an actor.

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?

Like them all.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

The boot bling.

Keeps your backside pointing at the ground instead of slamming into it and that way I don’t spill so much coffee.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why?

The Antarctic field manual – not much of a story but it’s still interesting.

What is your typical 'Slushy FM' genre? Do you have a particular favourite?


Describe your Casey experience with:

A sight – the longest sunrise

A smell – pizza at Gesepi’s Bavarian pizza emporium

A sound – the sound where there’s no sound

A feeling – crisp sunrise

A taste – home brew Lh1 was good, but it’s gotta be the S3

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?

Farts are always funny.

Two men standing out in the snow.
Another day at the office.
(Photo: Brendan Hopkins)
Three expeditioners dancing in front of a building.
Dance camp!
(Photo: Paul Watson)
Three artist interpretations of the plumbers at Casey.
Team Plum - an artists interpretation.
(Photo: Paul Watson)
Snow covered hills looking over the ocean covered in ice.
Ahhhh the serenity.
(Photo: Paul Watson)

My Casey in pictures: Mark Grainger

A southern fulmar bird flying in clear blue sky.
Southern fulmar at Ardery Island.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Blue Hägg and clouds in background.
Hägglunds returning to Casey station.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
A very colourful sunset.
March sunset.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Lots of bits of sea ice almost looking like a jigsaw.
November ice.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Häggs in red shed window.
Red Shed reflection.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Sunrise behind Casey sign.
Sunrise and blowing snow.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Cape petrel bird flying over water.
Cape petrel at Ardery Island.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Three orcas with their bodies out of the water.
Ardery orcas.
(Photo: Mark Grainger)