After a few false starts, the summer expeditioners started arriving at Casey on Wednesday morning. The 54 incoming expeditioners had been at the US McMurdo Base since the early hours of Monday morning awaiting the right weather window to make the four and a half hour journey across to Casey in two USAF LC130 Hercules. The weather finally played ball on Wednesday morning and the first 40 people came off the plane at about 9:00am local Casey time. Twenty four hours later the second LC130 arrived carrying the remaining 14 people and the bulk of the incoming cargo. Whilst very little cargo can actually come into Casey this way, there were some very important items including a few sought after food stuffs, paper towel and presents from home for the winterers (as well as the results of late night internet shopping excursions).
Amidst all of this, the twin otter arrived from Davis with Capt Bob, Perry and Scruffy to regale us all with stories of polar aviation and remind us of how good we are at darts.
Very quickly the station was out of its winter hibernation and buzzing with people and activity. For the first couple of days there was little to be done other than settle into the accommodation, catch up on some sleep and undertake the various safety inductions and familiarisations to the station itself, the kitchen and workshops, vehicles and other facilities where people would be living and working. And then the start of survival training, field training, hagg training etc so that people could commence their off-station work.
It is now only a week after everyone arrived and already it is hard to remember what the place was like for all those months of isolation. Casey is hopping again. It’s summer!