Poetry, a relaxing jolly and seals return at Casey station.

Poetry contest part 1

I was thinking that most of our news stories are about the environment, our work and of course play. So I wanted to show there is more to us expeditioners; that we are in fact deep thinkers with culture, wisdom and an untapped reservoir of artistic prose. How to do that? Well, a poetry contest of course! A barrier of course is the shy, introverted nature of great artisans, so I put up a prize no one could resist, the chance to launch their own weather balloon. Of course there was a catch — it had have a weather theme. Here’s a taste of our work and a big thanks to all the crew that had a crack. The winning poem will be in next week’s station news.

Steve B

The Clouds of Winter by Shane Kern

With brooding emotion and passing snow, 
The grey skies engulf the winters day. 
Peering through the station window,
The warmth of summer seems far away. 

Despite the drear, the haze, the light that fails, 
The splendorous clouds are never distant. 
The horizon looms beneath its foggy vail, 
The shades, the textures, forever brilliant. 

An iceberg, illuminated by some sun that appears, 
A shining light beneath the overcast mist. 
No sooner than it arrived, it soon disappears, 
A fleeting moment, a photo, and quickly dismissed. 

As each cloud rolls in and filters the light, 
We observe, appreciate and admire the scene. 
From pinks, to greys and some as black as night, 
The gamut of colours always looks so serene. 

The clouds’ effects are far more than skin-deep, 
Felt by all of us through each day and nightfall. 
With restless thoughts and little sleep, 
How winter makes us reconsider it all.

As each day passes and thoughts turn to our homes, 
We take time to admire the unfolding dawn.
Yet beneath the cold, the dark, the cloudy poems, 
Lies a place to which we will always be drawn.

Life is a Balloon by Veste Zwaart

Give me life, hold me tight, let me go
Impede me not, inversion, wind or snow
Swiftly, slowly, steady, so I rise
Reaching, striving, expanding, it is no surprise
Troposhere then Stratosphere
A bridge to far Mesoshpere

Weather Limerick by Ian Coleman

There was a man from Met,
He took on a bet,
Who could lift the balloon the highest?
Why it was the mighty Cirrus,
Who won the bet from Met.

Weathering the Weather by Eddie Dawson

Whatever the weather, we will have to forever, weather the weather together,
Weathering the weather, whatever the weather, being it sunshine, rain or snow,
We can weather the weather happily together as long as we know where to go,
It depends on whether the weather we weather, if bad then inside is fine,
But if the outside weather we want to weather together, that could only mean sunshine,
So whatever the weather the weather man tells us doesn't always come true,
So we should be happy of whether whatever the weather we weather together will do.

Work, rest and play

We have a number of huts off station which provide us with the opportunity to change things up, get out and about and recreate, however we do need to do a little maintenance work to keep them fit for purpose. Ian, as our main plumber and gas fitter, needed to get out to Robbos and Brownings for some such work, so Ali (station leader) went along for some well earned rest and I was just there making up numbers.

The objective of the trip (for Ian) was to check the fire extinguishers and blankets, change over some gas bottles, replace a heater, swap out some backup fuel containers and  prove some sea ice. Seeing as though it was indeed a work trip for Ian, we thought we’d let him do all the work; i.e. driving, cooking and cleaning. We did however find a little time for him to relax. The highlight for all of us was a jolly to Peterson Island — walking there across the sea ice, playing Bocce on the way, seeking out the emergency cache (survival supplies) and seeing the American memorial for which the island is named. We even had a bit of an adventure, with a blizzard rolling in on the way back to cap off a really good trip.

Steve B

Seal sighting

The blizzards of the past month have taken the sea ice twice outside of the islands from Newcomb Bay.

With still relatively cold temperatures the ice is reforming again as soon as it goes, quickly darkening into newly formed grey ice.

With the ice edge so close we have seen a number of really big — probably pregnant — female Weddell seals lolling about on the margin of the ice in the warming sun.

To sit near them and just enjoy the silence…

Furry, spotty, sleepy.