This week at Casey: 28 July 2017

The plumbers perform a mid-winter water transfer, part of the team travel to Sparkes Bay. We get to know Rick Plowright and Andrew shares some of his amazing photos.

Station update

It has been a lovely week on station with lighter winds and some delightfully bright days. The sun is finally high enough in the sky to slide sideways across the sky clear of the low cloud over the sea to the north that seems to dominate our horizon so often. Being bathed in perpetual golden sunset light never gets old.

Over the weekend Stu led a group of sea ice travellers on quads down to explore Sparkes Bay over the weekend. Two other field parties ventured out. Simo led Linc, Watto and Scottish out to Robbos on Friday, and Mat C headed out to fire up the pizzeria at the Wilkes Hilton with Ricky, Zac, Jimbo, Misty and Ducky.

This week the talk of station has been all things traverse. Trip Leader Misty and her crew of Adam, Muscles, Jimbo, Mark, Elise and Ducky have been preparing gear and completing planning and training, ahead of embarking on the annual traverses to Law Dome and Haupt Nunatak to service the automatic weather station units, which inform aviation weather forecasting for Casey. 

Our plumbing team of Ducky, Watto and Brendan completed the first mid–winter water transfer this week, drilling into the thick lake ice to access water to top up our water tanks. The guys valiantly pumped in temperatures of −23°C+ battling freezing hoses. Our tanks are now nicely topped up for a while and fingers crossed it will be warmer next time we pump.

In the meantime we are all cracking on with winter workload, stocktakes and annual maintenance tasks, and generally enjoying life down here at Casey. 

Jacque Comery, SL 

Van and vehicles in front of workshop.
Preparations have started on traverse gear.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Ice crystals in a pipe storage container.
Ice crystals in a pipe storage container.
(Photo: Steve Middleton)
Ducky and Watto drilling the lake
Still drilling...
(Photo: Brendan Hopkins)
Ducky and Watto and hole in ice.
And awaaaaay we go ...pumping starts! Ducky and Watto celebrate installing the…
(Photo: Brendan Hopkins)
Ducky and Watto on the lake drilling in the dark
Set up for our first water transfer started early.
(Photo: Brendan Hopkins)
Vehicles parked outside the workshop.
Traverse preparations cause a traffic jam outside the workshop.
(Photo: Jacque Comery)

5 minutes with the Casey 70th ANARE crew: Rick Plowright

Name: Ricky Plowright

From: Bendigo Victoria originally, but all of my adult life I have lived mainly in Darwin, Kununurra and Atherton tablelands.

Previous seasons? No previous seasons

Job title: Expedition Mechanic (Dieso)

Describe your role in two sentences:

Maintaining a varied array of plant and equipment, along with power station operations.

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

Diesel Mechanic in Darwin, mainly focusing on road trains.

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

The varied equipment you get to work on, it definitely keeps the job role interesting.

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

Helicopter pilot 

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

First season so it’s the best so far, no 'At Davis' stories yet.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Four wheel driving, fishing, camping and procrastinating about chores that I should be doing.

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?

Wilkes Hut for the warmth of a wood fire and pizza, although Jacks Hut for the loo with a view!

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? Thermals

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

Any books or biographies of early Australian explorers, cattle stations kings or people who worked and opened up the Australian outback.

Shawshank Redemption and any good documentary like David Attenborough series or bush series such as Bush Tucker Man or Malcolm Douglas travelling through the top remote regions of Australia.

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

Sight: Of seeing the bain–marie full of sausage rolls for smoko.

Smell: Of a roast lamb, beef or pork drifting through the Red Shed passages.

Sound: The unmistakable laughter of Misty McCain.

Feeling: Of undertaking a normal job role in such a unique environment.

Taste: Of Paul 'Watto' Watsons famous chilli jam when I make the mistake to apply to much to my meal.

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

It’s only rough if it doesn’t work.

And with your ability, my good looks and high IQ we can accomplish anything.

Quad trac in the workshop getting new traction.
Quadtrac Jasmine getting some new boots.
(Photo: Rick Plowright)
Tracked vehicle towing trailers.
Return trip from Wilkins from the last summer flight.
(Photo: Rick Plowright)
Snow built up against the workshop.
Blizz tail left by southerly blizzard.
(Photo: Rick Plowright)
Yellow Hägglunds in the workshop getting repairs.
Hägglunds driveline repairs.
(Photo: Rick Plowright)
Blizz tail against workshop.
Now where did I leave that shovel?
(Photo: Rick Plowright)

My Casey in pictures: Andrew Donald

A skua bird flying over water.
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
A perfect looking snowflake with six pointy ends.
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
Dozer in front of winter sun on horizon.
Winter sun
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
The sun in clouds on horizon.
First sunrise of summer.
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
The chef in the kitchen.
In the kitchen.
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
Garnet crystals in rock.
Reeves Hill garnets
(Photo: Andrew Donald)