This week at Casey: 27 February 2020

This week at Casey we are passing time and cleaning up

Casey Sundial

With glorious sunny weather being the norm at Casey this year, there were lots of opportunities to make the most of the sunshine. Some people did this by going out on ski trips, or hiking to huts for the night, or checking out the wildlife around the local area. Others used their time much more productively and decided to install a sundial on the old helipad out the front of the red shed.

This was not a project that was undertaken lightly. It was intended that this sundial be a permanent installation that would eventually become an integral part of life at Casey Station. Over the peak of summer, the helipad receives around 15 hours of usable sunshine each day, making it the perfect spot for this project.

Research was conducted and the operation was carefully planned over a number of days. We learnt that the arm of a sundial is called a gnomon (sure to come in handy for a crossword answer down the track!). We also learnt that the angle of the gnomon above the ground has to be the same as the latitude of the sundial (in this case 66.3 degrees).

Installation was a stressful yet exciting time for all involved. Once a suitable bamboo cane was in position and at exactly the right angle, a team of expeditioners undertook the arduous task of placing a rock on the shadow it cast on every hour. The result was breathtaking, as seen in the pictures below.

In the end, thanks to a combination of not-so-sunny days followed by 50 knot winds, the sundial was used to successfully tell the time exactly once. It was 1215 on 06 Feb 2020, and it is a time that will always be held dear to the members of this year’s summer team at Casey Station.

Hannah Phelps, Bureau of Meteorology Forecaster

Three expeditioners stand next to the concrete helipad with a bamboo cane installed in the center.
Installation under way
(Photo: Hannah Phelps)
A bamboo cane installed on concrete to make a sundial
Cloudy days limiting the potential of the project
(Photo: Hannah Phelps)
The sundial collapsed during a 50 know blow
Further work needed to ensure that next version can withstand 50 knots
(Photo: Hannah Phelps)
Two exepditioners on the ice
You can count on the weather...Hannah points to where the sundial was…
(Photo: Nick Watt)

Casey Containers

This season at Casey the Operations project, Container Management, has been tasked with making space at station for the Traverse Project which will be staging at Casey next season. The team is made up of Lauren Wise – Project Lead, Mick Clarke – Supply Officer and Rod Starr – Plant Operator. Halfway through the season Lauren stepped out of the project to assist the Remediation project and was replaced by myself.

The team has been busy poking around station and has been identifying what items are packed to containers or are placed loose around station. With a lot of help from both station and head office personnel, the project team has determined what is to remain at station or what can be sent home for return to Australia (RTA).

There have been a lot of things identified for RTA and these items have been packed for return to Hobart either on ship or aircraft. As a direct outcome of this work and with a lot of assistance from the team on the Aurora Australis for Voyage 2 this season there was more RTA (by volume) returned to Hobart than in the previous 5 years.

The project team has also been consolidating what is left behind, with quite a few containers being freed up for RTA next season. Loose items such as culverts and bundles of timber and steel that were in several locations have now been put together in the same spot.

We have been extremely lucky to have had such a large melt this season. This has greatly assisted with stuff appearing all around station as the ice and snow receded, especially in the quarry. Even though there has been such a good melt there has been a lot of time spent chipping away at ice with hammers and crowbars so items can be extracted and relocated to a new home.

The personnel here on station have been amazing in assisting the project team and have played a big part in the project doing so well and achieving so much. The Plant Operators especially have been a huge help to the project team and have been extremely accommodating with our requests to move things around all the time. Everyone at Casey has been behind the clean-up and I am extremely appreciative of the assistance and support we have received.

Simon Langdon, Container Management Project Lead

Mick Clarke inspecting contaners at Casey
Mick inspecting containers
(Photo: Simon Langdon)
The fuel drum cache at Casey before the clean-up
Fuel drum site before the clean-up
(Photo: Simon Langdon)
The fuel drum site halfway through the clean-up at Casey
Going going
(Photo: Simon Langdon)
The fuel cache site after the clean-up at Casey
Gone.....
(Photo: Simon Langdon)
The Casey quarry before the clean-up
The Casey quarry before the clean-up
(Photo: Simon Langdon)
The Casey quarry after the clean-up
The Casey quarry after the clean-up
(Photo: Simon Langdon)