I was excited to get the news a few months back that I was successful in applying for my third season as station carpenter, and what will be my first winter. So after a great few weeks in beautiful Hobart I stepped foot onto the famous Aurora Australia to make passage for Casey station.
I was asked to take on the beach master role by station leader Allan Cooney once we had arrived on station, which was an opportunity that was too good to be passed up. After waking up to the calm of Newcomb Bay on Boxing Day aboard the Aurora Australia, it was time to disembark and get serious about unloading the big girl so we could turn her around to meet the rest of the demands for resupplying Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island stations.
Voyage management included Chris Calloway as Voyage Leader (VL), Leanne Millhouse as Deputy Voyage Leader (DVL), and Brad Collins on refuelling. They were all exceptional and proved to run a very efficient and safe dispatch of fuel (SAB — special Antarctic blend), cargo and loading of RTA (return to Australia cargo) from the ship’s end whilst Kenny Smith and myself dealt with the logistics wharf side, with the support of the entire station behind us.
Re-supply involves everyone on station and I believe every role is just as important as the next. It is a complex operation that requires everyone to assist — whether it be walking the fuel line, doing dishes in the kitchen, driving plant or coordinating the whole operation — everyone plays a crucial role to efficiently and safely turn the big orange girl around to complete the season. I also have to take my hat off to the ship’s team who also work around the clock to assist the Australian Antarctic Division.
So with the help of everyone involved with the Casey resupply and mother nature, we successfully dispatched close to 900,000 litres of SAB and 630,000 tonnes of cargo to resupply the station and all RTA was delivered to the ship. This was all done in near-record time of seven days in total and most importantly it was all done safely and with no environmental concerns.
I would like to thank everyone who made my first time as beach master a thoroughly enjoyable and successful one and I look forward to taking on the role next resupply with a monster of a beard!