After a few delayed flights due to the weather, eventually we were shuffled into the back of a C17 instead of the intended A319 Airbus. As the C17 does not have any windows, it was quite an experience when we finally landed and the back door of the aircraft opened to let us out.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but in contrast to the scene of Hobart airport as the doors went up, the scene when the doors came down at Wilkins Aerodrome in Antarctica, made me feel like I had landed on another planet.
Stunned, confused and cold — yet excited — we were then split up and herded into a number of vehicles to begin the three hour journey to Casey station. I slept for a lot of that journey, but I do remember waking a number of times, to 360 degrees of ice and snow as far as the eye could see.
When we eventually got to Casey I was given the key to my room in west wing. The room was comfortable, and though it was the size of a pantry, it quickly became home.
The next day it was straight to work, but I found time to get acquainted with my surrounds and the facilities at Casey station. Not one to handle the cold well, the sauna in the tank house fast became one of my frequent hangouts.
Over the coming months I became more accustomed to the climate and the conditions and at times found myself walking to work in jeans and a t–shirt.
The scenery is amazing, but even a camera really doesn’t do it any justice, so with my limited literary skills I won’t attempt to describe it, except to say the view from the front of the red shed will be something I will never forget.
In addition to the scenery and the challenge of becoming accustomed to the conditions, I was also able to enjoy meeting many interesting people from a wide range of professions and trades.
The journey is now coming to an end, and although I am looking forward to going home to see my friends and family, I am very glad that I made the journey and had this experience as an Australian Antarctic expeditioner.
Adrian (Meteorological forecaster)