This week at the station
This week at Casey: 11 October 2013
A trip to Jack's
My time is winding down here at Casey Station, so I decided there was one thing I needed to do before jumping on a plane back to the mainland. I had to spend a night at Jack’s donga. Jack’s was the final frontier – the only hut I hadn’t spent at least one night in all season – so I decided to round up two of my favourite people on station for a fantastic night out. Ben M came too.
We stopped at the skiway so Leon could fix some highly technical meteorology equipment that he was sure I wouldn’t understand. He was probably right. This equipment’s functionality is vital for the upcoming flights. He was able to get said equipment working in a matter of hours, so we soldiered on to Jack’s.
We arrived to find the hut in perfect working order. The team had the generator running, gas flowing and the cards out within minutes. Ben M was there too. Within an hour the place was warm, the sun was setting and tea was cooking. Ben, Leon and myself told stories about everything from Texas summers to Alaskan winters, books, movies and beyond. As the night went dark we drifted off to sleep with the not-so-soft sound of Leon’s window-rattling snore.
P.S. We got to stop at the skiway on the way home too! This was so that Leon could fix the exact same piece of highly technical meteorology equipment. Fingers crossed he might get a whole day out of it this time.
There's a weather station out in deep field, some 130 km away from station at Cape Poinsett. This Automatic Weather Station (AWS) is in a beautiful location near the coast and simply being able to see a different part of the landscape is a truly wonderful experience. My workers for this trip were Matty the Dieso and Doug the Senior Comms Tech, with Scotty the Chef and Deputy Station Leader coming along for a sleep.
The trip was almost a month in the planning as we waited for various pieces of plant and accommodation to be available from other jobs that were on. We also had to delay for a week while there were a few blizzards in the area and even then the weather window was only just over a day.
The AWS is visited each year to check the data and make sure all sensors are within calibration, then the mast height is checked from ground level to the base of the battery box. Snow accumulates at about two metres each year and this time around we had to raise the mast to ensure the AWS was still visible when visited next year. All went pretty smoothly until we lost light for the day.
Scotty's birthday was on the Monday, so there were some delicious eye fillets prepared to Scotty's exacting standards and a phenomenal display from the sky: no clouds, not a breath of wind, stars everywhere and we even turned off the generator to soak in the atmosphere. Truly breathtaking.