This week at Casey: 30 June 2017

Introducing Dr Elise, taking a photographic tour of the station and expeditioners through the eyes of 'Simo the Sparky', and a successful but chilly fuel transfer.

Station update

Whilst last week we were pleased to share with you the news of our midwinter celebrations, this week we can fill you in on some of the fun that led us into mid–winter.

There was a hive of activity in the kitchen with chef Andrew and Brendan secretly working away on all manner of delectable treats each evening once the expeditioners had cleared out of the mess.  In the days before midwinter, Mat and Adam embarked on a seafood preparation exercise, which I suspect may have degenerated into lobster puppet show.

In a daring multi–tasking move, Andrew set out to accompany Stu Shaw into the field to Browning Peninsula, to reinstate our Channel 21 VHF repeater, which had been removed and returned to station some weeks earlier for repairs. The two guys worked tirelessly for two days embarking on all sorts of inventive means to move the repeater back into position. We now have VHF coverage again down on the Browning Peninsula, just in time for some upcoming project work down that end of the station operating area.

Scottish hosted the 'Casey 2017 Winter Olympics' and celebratory BBQ in the new utility building.  Much competition and skill was demonstrated throughout the various events which included boot tossing, curling… yes curling, and wait for it, ice hockey (well, a penalty shoot out).

This week on station has focused on the annual mid–year fuel transfer. In an all station effort we worked throughout the night on a rotating roster to pump almost half a million litres of diesel from our lower fuel farm up to our upper fuel farm, to provide a supply for our powerhouse and machinery for the remainder of the season.

Jacque Comery SL

Chef and two expeditiones shelling lobsters.
Midwinter dinner preparations: Bongo, Matty and Adam.
(Photo: Brendan Hopkins)
Chef and Mat in the kitchen with lobsters on the bench.
All of the lobsters!
(Photo: Brendan Hopkins)
Stu in yellow jacket on top of a hill with sea ice in background
Stu at the Browning repeater site.
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
Stu beside solar panels
Stu with the new solar panel array at the Browning repeater.
(Photo: Andrew Donald)
Sealy and Ricky and sunset
Diesos Sealy and Ricky getting ready for refuelling.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Expeditioner in sunset
Brendan at sunset, pressure testing the fuel transfer line.
(Photo: Sealy)
Curling ice block on black plastic sheeting
Zac of Team Sparky willing the stone on.
(Photo: Sealy)
Group of expeditioners watching curling on black plastic
Brendan of Team Plumbing curling at the Casey 2017 Winter Olympics.
(Photo: Sealy)
Simon of Team Sparky belting the puck down the line.
Simon of Team Sparky belting the puck
(Photo: Sealy)

5 minutes with the Casey 70th ANARE crew: Dr Elise Roberts

Name: Elise Roberts (no relation to Adam or Julia)

Nicknames: Doc

From: Some foreign land over the Tasman Sea

Previous seasons: Antarctic virgin

Job title: Antarctic Medical Practitioner (Just like a Doctor but with better nurses).

Describe your role in two sentences:  I put bandages on the boo-boos and the ouchies of the very accident prone Casey tradies. I educate the station on all things that can kill them whilst they live and work in Antarctica.

What did you do before your joined the AAD: I spent many years studying hard then working hard in the medical profession. This has finally allowed me attain the pinnacle of my profession by working with a nursing team as awesome as the current Casey one.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey: Working for Linc on the midwinters play has been the highlight of my Antarctic experience!

If you were not a Doctor what would be your dream job? The coach of any New Zealand sports team that enjoys beating the Australian team.

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? The best yet! Have I mentioned my nurses?!

What do you like to do in your spare time? Admiring the skill, talent and manliness of my nursing team, studying, promising to go to the gym tomorrow, studying, waiting for a midnight call from the 'aurora watch hotline', studying, occasional cross-country ski, studying, then a little more studying.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? It just has to be 'Fix You' by Coldplay!

What actor would play you in a film version of our 70th ANARE season here at Casey?  Xena - Warrior Princess is a Kiwi! Enough said!

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why? Being a Red Shed Warrior means the risk of injury anytime I step outside is great. So, my favourite hut is the one with the least chance of injury and that is Room 105 in the Red Shed.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? I have a true fetish for gloves! I splashed out and bought a number of extra pairs, including a pair of electrical heated gloves!

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why? Favourite book: The DSM-5 (Truly helpful down here!), Favourite movie: Any movie where Robin Williams portrays a doctor.

What is your typical 'Slushy FM' genre? Do you have a particular favourite? Linc’s Ultimate Slushy Playlist is totally awesome!

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

Sight: Four male nurses all scrubbed and ready for action

Smell: The sanitized medical suite

Sound: A ringing phone, the bane of all doctors

Taste: The sickly sweetness of vitamin D

Feeling: Exuberance at beating Linc in the footy tipping

{Ghost written by Nurse Linc}

Four sets of scrubs on coat hangers.
The four wise men.
(Photo: Dr Elise Roberts)
Three expeditioners and a resuscitation mannequin.
Linc attempting the art of multitasking.
(Photo: Dr Elise Roberts)
SAR training excercise showing expeditioners tending to an injured person on a rocky slope.
Outside 'ouchy' with a lot of traffic.
(Photo: Stu Shaw)
Two expeditioners in scrubs doing a practice operation.
Playing doctor and scrub nurse.
(Photo: Barry Becker)

My Casey in pictures: Simon Jodrell

(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Expeditioners in the brewery
The brewery in full swing.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Expeditioners in togas
Toga Party night - The Last Supper.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Expeditioner in front of the glacier
Clint appreciating the Vanderford Glacier.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Linc at Wilkes Hut.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Icebergs and Wilkes through the telescope
Making use of the station telescope.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Mick with icy beard
Mick at Wilkes Hut.
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)
Simo on speedos at Casey sign
'RU OK' midwinter check up!
(Photo: Simon Jodrell)

Preparing for the Casey mid-year fuel transfer

With the midwinter festivities out of the way, The men and women of Casey station are back on the job as they prepare for the midwinter refuel.

As the fuel kept on Casey station is dropped off by the Aurora Australis once a year in the summer period, it is fed into two fuel farms. The lower fuel farm, located down near the dock, and an upper fuel farm, located up close to Casey station mechanical workshop.

Eventually half the supply is drained throughout the year, and a fuel transfer must be completed to move what is left in the bottom fuel farm, to the top fuel farm.

The fuel transfer is a big task that runs nonstop until completed, requiring all hands on deck to operate and monitor the transfer. It requires everyone to be outside at some stage, throughout the day and night at around −30°C for a few hours at a time.

Mick the mechanical supervisor, takes time to run everyone through safe operation of the fuel farms, the monitoring of the lines of fuel transfer and measuring of the tanks.

Mat C

A group of expeditioners looking at the electrics panel
Mick runs expeditioners through the safety features.
(Photo: Mat Callaghan)
Sealy on the fuel farm measuring the fuel levels.
Sealy dipping the tank.
(Photo: Mat Callaghan)
Ducky with sea ice in background looking at his red beanie
Ducky taking a minute to think about his missing grey beanie.
(Photo: Mat Callaghan)
Expeditioners listening to Mick atop of the fuel farm.
Mick giving instruction on valve operation.
(Photo: Mat Callaghan)