Brunch, Casey huts, monthly weather highs and lows, and a birthday! Plus, find out the results of the highly anticipated inter-station darts tournament.

Green eggs and ham

You may wonder how we manage to have fresh eggs. Antarctic chickens? How do they have fresh eggs all year in Antarctica? Even I was thinking, as a concerned chef, how will we have fresh eggs all year?

Eggs are a very important resource when having to prepare an unlimited variety of delicious foods. Powdered eggs and frozen egg pulp play a very important role in Antarctic cuisine.

Fresh eggs are so much more important than any other egg substitute. Without fresh eggs, what desperate state would our brave expeditioner be in — if there are no eggs to poach, fry or griddle for brunch? How are they possibly going to survive all year without eggs Benedict or eggs Florentine?

Lucky we have a very good solution for this problem (without any use of Antarctic chickens). The eggs are from a local farmer in Tasmania (where we ship off from), and of the highest quality — they are sprayed in food grade oil, twice. The oiled eggs are turned regularly and have a great chance of being perfectly fine to use for the whole year. I, as a professional food handler, still find this an amazing feat. As pictured below, you can see that even these eight month old eggs cook better — fried and poached — than some bought fresh from the supermarkets back in Australia and taste fantastic. All eggs are cooked perfectly runny in the middle and are delicious.

The Casey brunch, served on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, consists of all the usual suspects you would find on a breakfast buffet as well as homemade English muffins, eggs Benedict or eggs Florentine, sweet muffins, cupcakes, friands or pancakes, hash browns or wedges and homemade crumpets — and whatever other delights I can dream up or get requested.

The July weather summary

Here we are with another month of weather, and what a ding dong one it was. We got in positives temperatures for the first time since the 5 March! Though, that didn’t help from it being a slightly cooler than average month. Again we were well below average for snowfall but did manage to hit the nail on the head for the average daily sunshine. The wind was around the mark for the expected windy days, albeit a little shy on blizzards. But what had us trolling the record books? We were just a cat’s whisker from setting a lowest recorded annual pressure record.

What really got us sizzling and running for our bathers — well would have if there wasn’t a blizzard raging outside — was the positive temperature for the first time in four months. The 1.1°C recorded on the 24th was also the equal third warmest July day on record, though this didn’t save us from being 0.7°C below the average daily maximum with −10.9°C. The average daily minimum temperatures were almost spot on: −18.5°C just 0.1°C below average. Mind you, −26.1°C on the 14th was pretty fresh as our coldest day.

The consistent purr of the anemometer provided us with a typical July month as far as wind is concerned. The daily wind run was 695 km, just 26 kms below the average, while the 17 strong and 11 gale force wind days was as to be expected. We generally associated low pressure systems with stronger winds, and we had a ripper, with a very deep low to the northwest of Casey late in the month. This low provided us with record low pressure of 935.0 hPa recorded at 5pm local time on 25 July, a new July record and second lowest ever recorded - the 930.0 hPa in August 1990, a bridge too far however. Alas it didn’t quite translate into a record wind gust, the maximum wind of 176 kph on the twenty-fourth a long way shy of the July, and annual, record of 241 kph. Likewise below average was the four blizzard days, below the expected 6.6 days.

Our monthly snowfall was again a fizz, with just the 14.8 mm over eight snow days, half the average 28.1 mm over 16 snow days. And we were off to such a good start, six millimetres on the third, combining to give us 7.6 mm over the first four days of the month — but that is about where it ended. Low snowfall was the main contributing factor to our below average blizzard days; the wind came to play but the snowflakes were away. The silver lining was making the average daily sunshine of 0.4 hrs, largely thanks to a mammoth 5.2 hrs of sun on the last day of the month! Now that was more than a lining, a solar pillar, crepuscular rays, sundogs no less.

So not to be a flibbertigibbet, I’ll bid farewell, ‘til next time when the sun sets in August.

Steve Black

Casey’s huts

Living in Antarctica can be a little more challenging if one falls into a monotony of never going off station.

Fortunately, we are lucky enough to have the usage of field huts. To visit a field hut is recognised as a “wee jolly”, a mini holiday as such. The huts are quite small and there generally isn’t a chef, (who cooks anyway), no T.V. or movie theatres, no internet, no comfortable seating, ambient temperatures of −30°C until warmed, no showers or running water and all toilet activity has to be bottled and bagged, to later be taken back to station.

Even after all these drawbacks, a field hut jolly is seen as a soul soothing experience, necessary to maintaining a healthy station life, and seems to make most problems melt away. Not too sure why the field huts have this effect on an expeditioner — maybe because it makes us appreciate being back on station? Or, maybe it’s because we can get a taste of how Antarctica was for the intrepid explorers further back in time? Compared to half a century ago, those of us here today are quite spoiled.

These are the field huts around Casey station — appreciated by all at some point. In an emergency, they could even save your life. 

Eddie Dawson


Friday 1 August was a pretty special day here on Casey station.

It was a day to firstly pay tribute to our colleagues who participated in Dry July, a noble cause to make a positive influence for adults living with cancer. Well done to Grant, Steve H., Cary, Shane, Ian, Scotty and Matt who met the challenge and along the way raised $755.

Secondly, Casey took on Mawson in competition darts, and what a lesson we gave them with a 3–0 drubbing. Congratulations to Steve M. who got his first competition Shang, which was unfortunately not recognised by the Mickey Mouse Mawson darts team.

Lastly, but perhaps most significantly, it was the universal horse’s birthday, celebrating the most important work horse of them all: our number one chef, Eddie. Happy birthday Eddie!

A special mention to Pete as well, who took over the cooking duties so Eddie could fully appreciate his coming of age fortieth.