This week at Casey we got into the Olympic spirit, had a visitor from WA and did some maintenance at Cape Poinsett.

Casey Olympics

While our Olympians were doing us proud over in Rio, we staged our own Olympics here at Casey. Rachel was the head of the Casey Olympic committee and she put on a great show with the help of Marto and the rest of the crew. Special mention to Jimmy for producing the medals.

The athletes were divided into teams of four to five and were named after the huts around the Casey region, which include Jack’s, Robbo’s, Browning, Wilkes and Kenny. While there were no world records set, there were many memorable performances, here are just a few.

There was Jeff ‘Happy Gilmore’, the sailor turned ice hockey player who displayed incredible calmness under pressure, and the touch of a fine artisan to win a silver medal in the ice hockey goal shooting competition. However, for all Jeff’s heroics it still wasn’t enough to beat the red hot favourite for all events (except for the beard growing competition) in Dainn.

Another memorable moment was provided by Rachel, who proved she can not only talk underwater but also hold her breath for an extraordinary length of time, claiming gold in the ‘holding your breath underwater’ competition. Kiwi Edwards once again proved he is still the fittest man on station by challenging Rachel all of the way and taking the silver medal.

One of the major highlights of the day was the sudden death playoff to decide the gold medal winner in the ping pong ball, shot put competition where you had to get the ping pong balls into a bucket. It saw Jimmy ‘Stair cutter and invisible fire starter’ come up against the might of Danny ‘Hammer time’.

Jimmy set the bar high getting an unbelievable score of two. Danny wouldn’t be denied and stepped up showing nerves of steel to steal victory from the jaws of defeat with a score of three, and claimed his first gold medal. It’s likely not his last in this event, with a long and illustrious career awaiting him.

Mini Golf was the last event and it wasn’t without controversy with the course designer, who had been testing the course all morning taking the win on the first hole. Cam ‘Barista’ brought things home on the second hole to provide the Wilkes team with their first gold medal of the games. Team Robbo’s battled hard and fought valiantly to claim the wooden spoon.

Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley visited the station this week from the students in grade two in Armadale, WA. Stanley had a bit of trouble arriving as he tried to check in with excess baggage and too much carry on, but once his file size was reduced he was able to travel via email and landed at Casey with ease.

The grade two students had 27 questions for Stanley to answer to get a better understanding of Antarctic station life. The questions ranged from what tools we use to study the weather, do we play any sports, do we use penguins as jet skis (of course we do!) and how long did the strongest blizzard go for?

The expeditioners welcomed Stanley into the team and showed him around. Stanley was lucky enough to have been here during the Casey Olympics, to get a trip out to O’Brien Bay to do some water sampling and to witness the second strongest blizzard for the season, when the conditions turned to black (no outside travel allowed). Thank you to Stanley for visiting us, we really enjoyed having you stay!


Cape Poinsett traverse

With the success of our Law Dome summit traverse in the previous week, we now turned our attention towards another of our automatic weather stations (AWS) at Cape Poinsett. Aside from the same icy old Met Tech, this trip included a whole new team featuring; Steve ‘So Fine’, AJ ‘Front Shoulders’, Tom ‘Not Quite a Mop or Puppet’, Pete ‘Hooter McGavin’ and the infamous Danny ‘Drilling Home’.

Where Law Dome is a traverse taking you gradually up our hill to the highest local AWS at around 1400 metres altitude, the Cape is coastal and only 100 metres higher than at Casey boasting a different journey. The 136km passage took the entire first day with AWS repair works beginning on the morning of the second before turning around in the late Antarctic afternoon to witness the setting of the sun (a favourite for all members) and returning to station late on the third day. Being the final traverse for our winter season this marks a very positive milestone having completed both traverses with the sterling triumph of two fully functioning AWS sites.