This week at Casey: 14 February 2020

This week at Casey a first time plumber gives his thoughts on the summer and leopard seals move in for the kill

Leopard Seals Lurk

When the weather is calm and there is not a ripple on the bay our minds turn to boating at Casey. It can still be grey and snowing but that just adds to the atmosphere of the event.

A few of these perfect-for-boating days have resulted in some amazing trips with photos to match. Now that the Adélie penguin colonies are feeding larger chicks the parents are making more frequent trips out to forage for food. As they leave and return they now run the gauntlet of leopard seals that have set themselves up strategically around the Windmill Islands.

A group of Casey expeditoners out boating with an stunning iceberg backdrop
A group of Casey expeditoners out boating with an stunning iceberg backdrop
(Photo: Adam Fulton)
A close up of a leopard seal on the ice
Full belly perhaps?
(Photo: Mark Cook)
An Adelie penguin propelling itself out of the water onto the ice
An Adélie penguin propelling itself from the water - as if there…
(Photo: Alex Correia)
An Adelie penguin behind a leopard seal
Whoops! Just when you think it's safer out of the water....
(Photo: Mark Cook)
A leopard seal getting ready to enter the water
Ready for a dip
(Photo: Mark Cook)
A snow petrel hiding in a ice cave on an iceberg
Look closely - this is what snow petrels do in their down…
(Photo: Alex Correia)
A masked team of expeditioners enjoy a boat trip
Happy to be boating in the snow
(Photo: John Sommers)

A Plumber's Thoughts

As a soon to be departing summer plumber, it has been an awesome journey.

I have worked on a lot of different plumbing tasks, some familiar and some completely different than what I have experienced during my plumbing career. There’s been some fantastic experiences along the way such as field and travel training where we learnt survival skills plus experienced some amazing scenery as we went.

Watching and learning how the Australian Antarctic Division operations work has been a real treat, including the resupply effort where we all pitched in and assisted with the unloading and loading the icebreaker Aurora Australis.

We have been incredibly spoilt by the great crew of chefs down here with the sublime dishes they pump out day after day. We are assigned roughly one day a month to help out the chefs in the kitchen with our slushy duty which is a nice break to have from our plumbing projects.

On top of work we have a good time with our social and leisure activities such as Australia Day festivities, weekends away to field huts with a cool motley crew of people, hitting the ski loop on a set of cross country skis and much more.

All in all it has been an unforgettable stay with an amazing and harmonious bunch of people that I will cherish for a very long time.

- Michael Howard, Casey Plumber 

A group of expeditioners outside a field hut
Tradie mates at the Wilkes Hilton hut
(Photo: Alex Correia)
Two plumbers drilling a hole to find water
Searching for water - should be here somewhere
(Photo: John Sommers)
Bivvys on the snow
Field survival training - sleeping in the wilderness
(Photo: Michael Howard)
An expeditioner self portait on the ice
A field travel training selfie near Robbos Hut
(Photo: Michael Howard)
A pontoon getting lifted from the lake for repairs and repositioning
Major plumbing refurbishment for the station's water supply. The Casey melt lake…
(Photo: Michael Howard)