This week at Casey: 13 July 2018

This week at Casey we're in the middle of winter and have hit groundhog day, but do get to meet Jane our radio operator turned weather watcher and not so secret sci-fi fan

Station update

What to write this week when it’s been so quiet with everyone just working away and well and truly in the winter routine. It’s hard at this point to write of something new.

When asking around station for ideas; a certain sparky (who shall not be named, but he does have red hair) told me I should write about the electricians and how they are the smartest, most good looking, and hardest working lot on station. I’m not sure how that would go with keeping harmony amongst the team with four months to go… so maybe not. (And whether it’s true or not I shall leave up to you to decide.)

Should I talk about the weather again? Down here it is particularly interesting; we’ve had a couple of blizzards this week, the frequency and intensity seem to be increasing into July and we are intermittently getting buried in snow (see pics) and then luckily natural snow clearing occurs at the next bliz, and we start the process all over again. But, I have been told before that not all people find the weather as interesting as me… so maybe not.

How about a quick outline of what we do to ensure we don’t kill each other over the long months we’re all stuck here and can’t escape?

How we’ve learnt to leave certain seats free in the Odeon theatre, bar, or mess as it causes all sorts of confusion and uncomfortable stares if one happens to sit in the wrong spot. How we try to quieten our eating of our orange-juice snow cones during the quiet part of the movie or heaven forbid Wednesday night’s Game of Thrones so as not to disturb the viewing.

How we’ve come to expect that when one certain person is on slushy duty we’ll arrive to smoko to find the tables rearranged into a new Tetris design and he’ll be sitting back with a smirk on his face looking for the reactions from those who like the tables just so, and find it difficult to adapt to change. The tables never stay that way for long and it doesn’t mean that he gets out of doing slushy!

Or, how it’s now routine to just chip in and help out when we see something that needs to be done. We remind ourselves when something little starts to niggle that it really is not a big thing and it really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things. Just smile, count to ten, and take a few minutes to do it ourselves rather than get all hot and bothered.

These are just some of the things we do to ensure we continue to get on after eight months in close confines. How we will survive the next few months in a comfortable and happy contentment; actually getting on remarkably well.

So, all’s well. We are all still smiling. The work is getting done. The weather’s cold and fierce. It’s dark but getting lighter each day. We’re all extremely good looking and very hard working. And I pray that something exciting happens this week, so next week’s Icy News will be more interesting for you all.

Rebecca (Casey SL). 

A close up of the moon, showing craters and dark patches in top left of picture, rest of picture is black
A benefit of long nights... the moon
(Photo: Will Tankard)
Foreground dark stretches to horizen, above a bright orange and purple sunrise. Just above horizen the sillouette of a flying bird
The birds are returning
(Photo: Zach Lockhard)
Photo taken from inside of balloon shed, with blue walls and large double height doors opened. Opening is covered half way up with bank of snow. Man stands in front of door opening in cold weather gear
Digging out required before balloon release possible
(Photo: Will Tankard)
Side of a yellow building showing large bank of snow built up almost to the top of the building
Bliz-tail off the Workshop
(Photo: Will Tankard)
Looking out of the door at snow dumping down in the dark but lit up by light from inside
Dumping snow... could that be "snowing penguins and seals"
(Photo: Will Tankard)
three images in one, three different trays of dumplings, left fried wontons, centre pork buns, right shumai
Fridays bar snacks became Friday's dinner. Dumplings!
(Photo: Rebecca Jeffcoat)

5 min with the 71st ANARE crew: Jane Leggate

Name: Jane Leggate

From: Gold Coast

Previous seasons? Numerous summers over the past 10 years.

Job title: Weather Observer

Describe your role in two sentences: I keep an eye on the weather here, release weather balloons, and collate data that’s entered into the world climate record.  What happens here impacts your daily weather back in Australia.

What did you do before your joined the AAD? At one point, I was an Air Traffic Controller.  I’ve had a few other roles since then, but I seem to keep coming back to Antarctica, any way that I can.  I’ve worked as a radio operator as well as a weather observer down here.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? The weather balloon releases.  You never know quite what’s going to happen when you let it go – especially in the middle of a blizzard!

If you were not a weather observer what would be your dream job? Travel writer.

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? Each time I come here it’s a new experience.  The people you live and work with have a huge impact on how things turn out, which makes every time different.  Though, this time, it’s also a lot darker!

What do you like to do in your spare time? I crochet, read, watch movies, play board games, and hang around chatting a lot.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 71st ANARE season here at Casey? Karen Gillan

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? My down jacket – it’s nice to be completely warm.

What is your favourite book and movie and why?
Book – I have too many favourites to pick just one.  But one I’ve enjoyed recently is “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline.  I loved all the ‘80s pop culture references.

Movie – “Star Trek” (2009). I love all Star Trek, but I really liked how they changed the timeline in this one to allow them to do more with the story moving forward.

What is your typical 'Slushy FM' genre? Do you have a particular favourite?  I usually get someone else to put their playlist on so I can get introduced to some different music than what I usually listen to.

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

Sight: A cloudless night with the Milky Way overhead and the stars shining brightly from horizon to horizon.  It doesn’t happen enough over winter.

Smell: The smell of Dom’s fresh homemade bread.

Sound: The sound of the wind blowing outside at over 40 knots while I’m safely inside the Red Shed.

Feeling: of camaraderie.

Taste: That fresh bread lathered in good old Aussie Vegemite.

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

“Not all those who wander are lost” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Close up of the side of an iceberg, bright blue and white tones
Blue Berg
(Photo: Jane Leggate)
Foreground, lady in large overcoat and beanie releases large which weather balloon, in the background the sun sets over the horizen
Doing the job... balloon release
(Photo: Dominic Hall)
A weather station instrument shelter sillouettted against the horizen at sunset
The workplace... the Casey instrument shelter at sunset
(Photo: Jane Leggate)
Lady in paisley dress stands holding a framed cross-stitch of a colourful penguin
Jane and her midwinter present
(Photo: George Brettingham-Moore)
Four women in high vis clothing holding very large work tools and standing in front of oversized tractor
The Diesoettes... Catz, Misty, Bec and Jane
(Photo: Dominic Hall)
Woman dressed as a knight wearing helmet and holding large wooden sword
Knightly medieval adventures
(Photo: George Brettingham-Moore)
Two women sitting together behind a table laden with food which includes a big plate of nachos and a cheese platter
Catz and Jane enjoying the hut life - girls trip to Robbos
(Photo: Rebecca Jeffcoat)