Field training, darts and hydrographics at Casey station.

An expeditioner’s field training experience

Dr. Helena Baird, Steve Whiteside, and myself, Clint Berry, left on the 3 December to head out on our trusty Honda quads. With our fearless field training officer (FTO) Anthea Fisher leading the way, we travelled outside of station boundaries on a 47 km round trip.

Our group learned many different skills: pulling out a stuck quad, driving over blue ice, walking up an icy slope, self arresting, navigation (where you have to add 100 degrees for the variation), amongst other techniques. The two days out in the field were split up with a night at Robbos Hut, a little piece of luxury out in the cold Antarctic landscape where the curried sausages, fish pie, and a cup of tea were delicious.

The quads didn’t miss a beat and I wish I could have stayed out there for another couple of days. Good times with good people! This was a great trip and one that I will never forget.

Dart challenge

Recently Casey expeditioners challenged Macquarie Island expeditioners to a game of darts, traditionally the game of choice on Antarctic stations with all games taken very seriously.

How then could a game be played when the two stations are thousands of kilometres apart?! The use of modern technology makes it possible! With the aid of video conferencing, both dartboards can be shown on a video screen live and simultaneously. This way both teams can witness the dart throws and scores, a method that stops a lot of arguments or allegations of cheating.

In the past similar games were played using only a phone link and you were relying on the honesty of the other side regarding their score!

The result this year was that Casey won three games to one.


This summer, a multidisciplinary team of scientists and Royal Australian Navy hydrographic surveyors are uncovering the secrets of the icy depths adjacent to Casey station in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The survey is a collaboration between the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), as part of the Hydrographic Surveying and Bathymetric Data Acquisition Project. The team comprises Geoff Walker (RAN), Hannah Lee (RAN), Glen Cooksey (RAN), Chris Carson (GA) and Dean (IXSurvey).

The shallow water marine environment around Casey is a high use area and is frequently visited by the RSV Aurora Australis and smaller vessels conducting scientific research in the area, yet high resolution bathymetric data in the area is limited.

Additionally, the area hosts globally significant levels of biodiversity, but this knowledge is geographically restricted in scope (i.e. shallow depths, close to shore). This biodiversity faces pressures from human activities and climate change, yet extensive knowledge gaps remain, limiting efforts to conserve and manage it effectively. This ‘survey-of-discovery’ will begin to fill these knowledge gaps by conducting representative sampling of both the physical environment and biological communities.

This year’s survey will complement a previous survey to the Casey region undertaken by RAN and AAD (using the RAN vessel ASV Wyatt Earp) in 2013/14 which was also part of the same project.

In blessing the success of the survey, in true Navy tradition, we hope that the team will encounter ‘fair winds and following seas’.