Storms, seals, Vikings, and darts feature at Casey this week.

Land of the blizzard

Last week the wind started on Sunday and, except for a short lull on Tuesday, it kept blowing until Saturday. This had us confined to the red shed apart from a quick trip to the main power house to check out an alarm.

By Friday our visibility was back and the winds reached maximum strength blowing over 100 knots for more than 12 hours. The strongest gust recorded was 125 knots — that is over 230km/hr.

We awoke Saturday to slowly abating katabatics and a fair bit of damage around station. The worst was the collapse of a mast holding the UHF receiver dish essential to monitoring the upper atmosphere balloon flights launched daily at Casey.

Other damage included antennae, containers, overturned sleds and trailers, and several holes in the ANARE satellite dome.

This week’s work: setting things right again.

The seals return

We thought that the seals had disappeared with the wind and ice, but the first good day they were back on the (remaining) sea ice.

The two larger Weddell seals we had seen before but this time there was also a smaller seal, possibly one of last years pups returning.

During one of our trips out near Shirley Island we were lucky enough to see a solitary male leopard seal. 

Earl Steve’s viking party

Many of us over the winter have been avidly following the Vikings TV series so when Steve M was deciding what to do for his birthday it was an easy decision to go with a Norse/Viking theme.

Luckily the emergency vehicle shed mezzanine provided swords, armour and shields aplenty and what was not there was quickly fashioned for the night.

There were several spontaneous pre-dinner battles with axes, swords and shields brandished as people arrived in the Wallow — an excellent way to build up an appetite.

All in all a fantastic night was had with Steve’s special cider and the doctor’s spicy mulled wine with meat, meat, and more meat (and a few veggies). A chocolate fudge rat sat atop the birthday cake that tasted far better than it looked, except for the tail!

Casey darts champions

The inter-station darts championship finished on a high for Casey last week.

Closely followed by all on station, we were on the edge of our seats to the very last with Scotty ‘The King’ Clifford finally taking the win with a double in the third and final game.