This week at Casey: 28 April 2017

It's getting colder and darker however, the Casey team start the 'Antarctic Walking Club' and get off station. An igloo is built, we get to know Adam and Steve shares some of his fantastic photos, while at Wilkes they enjoy the delights of woodfired pizza.

Station update

Another week has past here at Casey and it continues to get colder, and darker. Conditions outside are not dampening the enthusiasm on station in the slightest. Field parties headed out to Jacks Hut and Wilkes over the weekend. Clint and Adam finished off their igloo project on the helipad, and the walking club embarked on a big Sunday walk, and another impromptu poker night emerged.

The sea ice is making an attempted return again out in Newcomb Bay, and so far has survived the 60+ knot winds that we received this week.

Our first winter all–station fire exercise was held late last week with BA teams searching the Red Shed for a ‘missing’ fictional visitor, whilst the remainder of the expeditioners formed teams on pumps and hoses on the fire Hägg, or assisted doctor Elise with patient treatment.  Under the leadership of fire chief Muscles, our fictional friend was found and retrieved from the building, and the fictional fire contained and extinguished. This ongoing ERT raining continues to build confidence and capability in our ability to respond to any unexpected events on station.

Anzac Day on station followed tradition, leading with a Dawn Service, and a day of the community getting involved in activities including a pool competition and two–up.

Led by our SCTO Clint, station marked Anzac Day with a fitting and respectful day of remembrance, in support of our four ex-servicemen on station, and those who have made sacrifices throughout history. The day was rounded out with a Hawthorn Football Club themed cake for Sealy, who celebrates his birthday on Anzac Day.

For the later half of this week, the beats of the Bee Gees ‘Staying Alive’ is drifting through the Red Shed, as Dr Elise takes us all through a basic life support and first aid refresher training session.

Jacque Comery, Station Leader

Sealy with birthday cake
Happy Birthday Sealy!
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
Four expeditioners  revive manikan
First aid training
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
Woman standing supervising people doing CPR on manikans
Elise delivering first aid training.
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
Adam and Clint building an igloo with sunset
Igloo building
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
Gathered for Dawn Service, ANZAC Day 2017
Gathered for Dawn Service, ANZAC Day 2017.
(Photo: Stu Shaw)
Clint, Sealy and Mat wearing medals
Clint, Sealy and Mat on ANZAC Day
(Photo: Stu Shaw)

Antarctic Walking Club

Inspired by the exploits of the Antarctic Running Club (est. 2012 at Casey) some of the Casey winterers have recently been getting out of the Red Shed and heading off station without vehicles.

A slightly more relaxed attitude this season means that running is out of fashion and walking is in, so the new group is named the Antarctic Walking Club (AWC).

Towing their survival packs on sleds, the AWC members have been refining their hauling techniques and optimising their clothing layers with return journeys beyond penguin pass before sunset. Their sled hauling enthusiasm was infectious enough to tempt the station leader who joined the AWC for a recent walk from Casey to Wilkes, a journey that took a little over two hours.

The weather last Sunday afternoon was fine, −13°C and light wind, so the AWC had another outing, this time from the skiway to Casey via the A-line, a distance of approximately 10 km. Stu joined the group for this journey, although I’m not sure if it was the AWC members’ enthusiasm or guilt about recent egg–shaped chocolate consumption that motivated him.

Stu opted to carry his pack on his back rather than haul it on a sled, possibly because the sled makes him feel like he’s being stalked by his own survival pack.

The walk back to Casey was invigorating but uneventful and apart from encroaching low cloud the weather remained fine all afternoon. Where to next?

Man in orange jacket hiking along snow road
Stu arrives next
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
Hiker near sign and 3 other expeditioners in the background
Cracking pace
(Photo: Mark Grainger)
4 hikers dragging sleds walking along a snow road
Departing the skiway
(Photo: Mark Grainger)

Chilly Airbnb

Spend a night in an igloo in Antarctica, with helicopters.*

  • Centrally located on Casey station, close to all the best sights, the ‘Go line’ and the Helipad.
  • Comfortably sleeps one or if travelling with a really close friend there’s room for two.
  • Cooked breakfast available on request. Options include:
  1. Full breakfast
  2. Vegetarian
  3. The 'I identify as vegan' special.
  • 240 volt electrical connection available. Mobile phone and WiFi connection from the igloo. Connect as many devices as you like, some possibility of getting blocked.

Certified structurally sound by Casey’s number one Chippie.

With a nickname like ‘Scottish’ he must be trustworthy!

$ VERY reasonable rates $

Book now before the busy winter season gets into full swing and ask about our multi night deals!

*Helicopters may or may not be available at the time of booking.

View out of igloo
The morning view.
(Photo: Clint Chilcott)
Expediitioner in igloo with breakfast on a tray
Breakfast in bed
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
An igloo at night with hlights inside glowing throiugh the walls
The igloo lit up at night.
(Photo: Clint Clicott)

5 minutes with the Casey 70th ANARE crew - Adam

Name: Adam Roberts

Nicknames: Satay, Roberts, Oi! etc.

From: Perth

Previous seasons? Nope

Job title: Electrician

Describe your role in two sentences:

Looking after the power generation and distribution, instrumentation and controls, fire detection, and electrical systems around station. We also work on new installations and projects to upgrade station facilities.

What did you do before your joined the AAD:

Working on an offshore gas processing facility as an instrument and controls technician for Chevron in WA.

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

The people are great, it’s a positive place with a bunch of people who want to be here and enjoy the environment.

If you were not an electrician what would be your dream job?

Astronaut, or more realistically something with old motorbikes such as customising or restoring them.

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

I haven’t had any previous seasons, so it’s the best one yet.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Down here: play pool, watch movies, go on adventures outside station and have new experiences.

In real life: Surf, travel, and work on my motorbikes.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far?

Doomsday by MF Doom. Not because I feel like it lyrically represents anything relevant, I’ve just listened to it a lot since I arrived.

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

Chris Pratt, but probably a more Andy Dwyer version rather than a Starlord unfortunately

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?

Robbo’s because of the beautiful location and it has a great layout. Having a fireplace and making woodfire pizzas is great, so Wilkes is also really special.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

It’s a tie between my yellow onesie (for Wednesdays) and my Canada Goose jacket; that jacket is like wearing a doona.

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

Book – Neuromancer by William Gibson, because it was so far ahead of its time, formed an entire sub-genre of science fiction and inspired ‘The Matrix’. It’s a book that keeps you guessing and I couldn’t put down.

Movie – No Country for Old Men, a Coen brothers film with some messed up characters and themes. I love the detached ending and darkness of it all.

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

Rap, jungle, electronic, rock. I like to keep it changing.

Describe your Casey experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.

A sight – Coming from the plateau; it never gets old seeing massive icebergs and how puny our station is compared to the vast expanse of the continent.

A smell – It’s more a lack of smells once I leave station. I can’t think of any natural smells out there.

A sound – The winds that occasionally terrorise this area. They really put you in your place.

A feeling – The cold.

A taste – Home brew! Created by us for us.

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

Great chat, glad we could have it (said with extreme sarcasm).

Expeditioners working on cable
Repairing the cable to the wharf hut with Blackfish.
(Photo: Adam Roberts)
Adam leaning against a quad bike wearing helmet
Travel training
(Photo: Stu Shaw)
Adam and Clint building an igloo with hview of sea in background
Building an igloo with Clint.
(Photo: Mat Callaghan)

My Casey in pictures: Steve Middleton

This winter the team at Casey are contributing to a weekly photo gallery, sharing with us a snapshot of their Casey experience in pictures.

This week diesel mechanic Steve 'Muscles' Middleton, shares with us his perspective on Casey station, getting out and about with the plant and equipment that is critical to the operations of Casey and the Wilkins Aerodrome.

 

Bays in workshop full of plant and equipment
Busy workshop
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Reflection of Steve in a set of goggles
check out this reflection!
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
snow build up on cable trays comming out of the power house
Snow build up on cable trays comming out of the power house.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Steve sitting in a groomer
Cruising in the groomer.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Steve and the quad track tractor
Hangin' out with Jessica the quad track.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Two quad bikes stopped on snow
Clint and I stopped for a yarn.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Expeditioners working on plant
Pat, Woll and I working on my nemesis the D7.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Rick working on an engine
Rick getting very technical in the top end of one of the…
(Photo: Steve Middleton)

Woodfired pizzas at Wilkes

Mat, Steve, Adam, James and Shaun spent the weekend relaxing by the fire at Wilkes station.

Shaun helped mat build two of the finest pizzas the south pole has seen, with more chilli than a healthy man should eat.

The rest of the night was spent swapping stories, whilst everyone watched Adam manage the fire.

Shaun kicked a railway sleeper with his shin which provided laughs.

Mat Callaghan

Adam lights the fire
Adam gets the coals going.
(Photo: S Gillies)
Mat slices up the pizza
Mat slices up the pizza.
(Photo: S Gillies)
Shaun prepares a Pizza base on a bench
Shaun prepares a pizza base.
(Photo: Mat Callaghan)