Like a peacock showing off its tail feathers, we show off our growing beards as a salute to Antarctic explorers of the past. We also visit the elephant seals at Browning and we conjured up a solution to our depleting stock of a precious commodity that we call soap. Finally we share the picture gallery of the week by Leon.

The beards of Casey

In time honoured tradition, one of the projects male expeditioners have over the year is to cultivate a large and lustrous lock of manhood, flowing from the chin like a river and emulating the explorers of long ago. The competition between expeditioners for the longest ‘food saver’ is fierce and many of these soup strainers are here to stay.

However some, sadly, have bowed out as they preferred not to deal with the heat of wearing an animal pelt glued to their face.

Below you will find photos of the larger beards, some grown for many a year and others new additions as of the time of departing Hobart.

Later in the year we'll revisit these monuments to masculinity and warmth and see how they're faring.

Leon H.

Elephants of the sea

As the days turn into months here at Casey, for most, a trip to Browning Peninsula is red hot on the ‘to do’ list.

Browning Peninsula is a rocky peninsula 6.4km long, separating Penny Bay and Eyres Bay, in the southern end of the Windmill islands — it makes for exceptional viewing of the Vanderford Glacier.

Browning is a place of tremendous beauty, teeming with wildlife and really has to be seen to be believed. For a few chilly months of the year, the elephants seals call this rocky peninsula home and they truly are remarkable creatures to watch.

Below are a few photos of the elephant seals who chose to visit Browning this year.


Tim N.

To stink, or not to stink, that is the question.

Working in Antarctica takes a certain type of person - someone who can adapt to any situation, be inventive, able to use what is at hand when you don’t have the right gear and make the best of a bad situation. Most importantly, you need to be able to work as part of a team. This best describes us here at a little research station on the cold and barren continent deep in the south called Casey.

It all started a few weeks ago after summer ended and reality started to kick in — there was only 21 of us left for a long winter, all blokes and no females! If that wasn’t bad enough, we stumbled across the fact that we were running low on soap and there would be no more supplies sent in for another seven months.

At the next station meeting the subject of the soap shortage came up and we felt sorrow for the incoming summerers arriving to a bunch of scruffy, stinky winterers. Suddenly, our tears of sadness turned to tears of joy as a few brave volunteers came forth with the promise of a solution to our stinky problem.

Over the next couple of days, the small group of heroes spent day and night scanning the internet for methods and recipes to make soap. Then came the hard part: trying to locate the ingredients. Oil was first on the list which was starting to seem harder and harder get hold of as the chef didn’t want to part with any of his. In the end, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and French lavender oil were sourced from the masseuse. Then came the big day, the day of the cook-up. The batch cooking went off without a hitch and a couple of weeks later, when the soap had dried, it was time to test the final product. It was a success with the whole station of blokes now smelling of lavender!

So now when the next lot of summerers fly in they will be eternally grateful to the group of heroes that spent so much of their spare time making us all smell nice.

Ben H. 

Picture gallery of the week

This week’s picture gallery features photos taken by Leon Hamilton.