It’s all about work this week at Casey. Boilers, building and digging out a road keep our expeditioners busy.

A busy week for the infrastructure crew

It’s a busy time at Casey with the infrastructure group having a range of projects on the go.

This week the old dark room was refurbished. It retains the space and equipment to do the very minimal photographic processing and printing now undertaken in this digital age, but it also now houses our sewing machine and associated kit and provides an excellent storage space for recycling bins and survival packs. With space in the red shed at a premium this multipurpose approach to room usage combined with smart design is incredibly useful.

The east wing extension is moving along and we now have several containers in place that make up the first floor of the new structure. It’s great for those of us who were here last year when the foundations were first being excavated to actually see part of the building itself finally in place. Work should progress very rapidly now.

Work on cleaning and regrouting the third of our three water storage tanks is also about to start. The past week has been spent getting the area prepared and putting all of the safety procedures and equipment in place. It is now ready to go. Unfortunately the spa and sauna are closed during the cleaning because safety is compromised with all of the extra equipment in the tankhouse.

The replacement of the boilers in the main power house wasn’t due to start for some time yet but we are ahead of schedule there as well. The old boilers were removed during the week and the new ones have been shifted to the MPH so installation can now begin. This is a big job that will take some time. Fortunately Rob Thorne, one of our wintering plumbers, has done this job in the past in Antarctica so all should run smoothly (well as smoothly as anything runs down here).

And finally preparation of the road from the station to the wharf is now in full swing. With the melt upon us, our capacity to use the inflatable rubber boats (IRBs) is critical and to use them we need access to the wharf, to get to the wharf we need a road. Of course the wharf road is also essential for resupply so it’s great to get in early and have it dug out so that we just need to run a maintenance program thereafter. Even if the weather turns ugly for a week or more, once the road is done it will only take a day or two to get it back in good shape. 

The infrastructure crew are doing a fantastic job. The program is surging ahead and the safety culture continues to be outstanding. Good work guys.

Mark Hunt, Station Leader