This week at the station

This week at Casey: 23 May 2014

Casey at night

The daylight hours are fast disappearing as the southern hemisphere tilts further away from the sun, and night becomes our norm.

Matt, one of the diesos and a keen photographer, has been out capturing images of the station in the dark - a different take on Casey. 

The Casey sign at night - a wooden sign indicating Casey station but also on the pole above are smaller signs indicating the directions of other places from Casey
A sign in the dark
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
The emergency vehicle shelter at night, a square metal building
The EVS (emergency vehicle shelter) in the light
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
The red shed at night taken from the east
Red shed from the east
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
The red shed at Night taken from the west
Red shed from the west
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
Vehicles photographed at night under a full moon
Vehciles by the light of the moon
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
The workshops at night
The workshops at night
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)

Burnished birds

Some days down here are hard to describe they are so incredibly stunning that words and even images can’t do them justice. Last Sunday was such a day, made even better by the fact that it was the weekend and we didn’t have to work so had the time to absorb it. Although, it was cold – down around -20°C, so a bit chilly.

When you see snow petrels and Antarctic petrels cruising effortlessly between the snow covered rock valleys enjoying the gold/orange rays of the sunset, you have to wonder, how can such (relatively) small birds survive down here through the winter? Our expert back in Kingston (Barb Wienecke) assures us that if there is open water in the vicinity, then they can get enough food to sustain themselves in the extremes of an Antarctic winter.

The images below - captured by Pete while up on Reeves Hill - show these birds in their element, reflecting the stunning colours of the magnificent liquid gold sky.

Sunset taken from Reeves Hill at Casey 2014
Sunset from Reeves Hill
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Three snow petrels in flight at Casey
A trio of snow petrels
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
A snow petrel tinged orange with the light of the setting sun
Tinged with the light of the setting sun
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Casey station buildings taken in the light of the setting sun
Casey basks in the last rays of the sun
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Antarctic petrels in the glow of the sun
A welcome visit from several Antarctic petrels
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Sunset at Casey with brilliant golden hues
A sky that looks like liquid gold
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Snow petrel against the snow covered rocks of Reeves Hill where they roost
Amongst the snow covered rocks of Reeves Hill, where they roost
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Snow petrel dark against the coloured clouds
Snow petrel dark against the coloured clouds
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
The sun sinking below the horizon at Casey
And so into night
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)

Science preparation: FOCE

Completing preparations through the winter months ensures that projects for next season get to start as soon as possible after arrival on station.

Last week in the workshop, we started to prepare some essential items for the 2014/15 summer FOCE (Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment) project. The first in-situ polar CO2 enrichment experiment, this research will examine the impact of increased CO2 absorption in seawater (forming acidic oceans) will have on marine ecosystems.

To start with we installed the Cummins generator in the portable container that will be transported close to the site of the experiment already established under the thick multi-year sea ice in O’Brien Bay. We also mounted the H-cowls on the roof, extended the exhaust outside, and secured the diesel tank on its sled for refuelling - all ready to go!

The FOCE (Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment) logo
The FOCE (Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment) logo
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
A Generatore installed inside a container ready for field project deployment 20140-15
Generator installed inside the container
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
H cowls for ventilation even in a blizzard in place and secure on top of the generator container
H-cowls for ventilation - even in a blizzard - in place and…
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)
Fuel tank mounted on sled ready for field deployment
Diesel fuel sled
(Photo: Matt Melhuish)

D11 deals to drifts

Overnight snowfalls quickly get blown into blizz tails and wind scoops, making work around station eventful at times.

Our plant operator, Cary, spends a good deal of his day after the wind abates clearing the roads for easy access.

Moving snow at Casey in the D11 bulldozer
Cary in the D11 doing his stuff
(Photo: Nick Johnston)
Cary Collis in the bobcat moving snow at Casey
The bobcat gets into tighter areas
(Photo: Nick Johnston)
In answer to Davis Cartoon regarding the moving of goal posts
Because we can
(Photo: Unknown)
This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.