The aviation team have now headed up the hill and are based up at Wilkins, last weekend wind gusts were up to 119 knots. We get to know station leader Jacque a little better.

Station update

The past few weeks at Casey have seen lots going on around station.

A few Fridays ago the station kitchen was transformed into ‘Splinters Takeaway', and Friday night dinner was burger stand style, complete with ordering at the counter, raffle ticket stubs and a screeching voice over the PA to announce that your meal was ready. Chef Andrew and Brendan were a crack team behind the counter, while Jac took orders at the counter.

The aviation team have now headed up the hill and are based up at Wilkins. On their final weekend on station we had a formal dinner following which DJ Stu dusted the cobwebs off the AV gear and gave the turntables a workout. The human perpetual motion espresso martini maker, Watto, was in full swing, resulting in the majority of party goers being so over-caffeinated they didn’t sleep…

…which was lucky as we were all dragged out of bed at 5 am by a fire alarm in the emergency power house.

The aviation team Misty, James, and Sealy headed off station, supported by Clint, Zac, Ducky and Ricky, who chipped into de–winterise the Wilkins camp for the best part of the week.

Last weekend Casey rode out the biggest blizz of the season so far. Winds greater than 100 kts were sustained for several hours, with a max wind gust of 119 kts. The poor ANARESAT suffered the brunt of the winds again, but on the whole we considered ourselves lucky to sustain such little additional damage. The whole team chipped in on Saturday to assess the damage and then pitch in to rectify issues around station.

In a dramatic change in the weather, we received some gorgeous sunshine later in the week, allowing Team Plumb to complete out third melt lake water transfer for the season

Jacque Comery — SL

5 mins with the 70th ANARE crew: Jacque Comery

Name: Jacque Comery

Nicknames: Jac

From: Melbourne, Vic

Previous seasons?

2015/16 Macquarie Island 68th ANARE — Station Leader

Job title: Station Leader

Describe your role in two sentences:

“To lead a diverse team of multi-skilled expeditioners on a wide range of exciting science, infrastructure and logistics programs in one of the most remote, isolated and beautiful places on the planet.”

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

I worked as a Water and Environment Services Group Manager and Environmental Engineer with consulting company GHD, specialising in Water Supply Projects, and Project Management of government infrastructure projects.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey?

Writing the station log.

If you were not an Engineer what would be your dream job?

Fully sponsored adventure traveller, otherwise I’d just settle for being Lara Croft (for the unlimited adventure budget and outfit more than the tomb raiding!)

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south?

Completely opposite. The sub–Antarctic is teeming with wildlife, and you can always get out and about. The furious fifties pounding the island also make you feel exposed and very much at the mercy of the elements… oh and did I mention solo travel?

Having said that with incessant clouds and rain you don’t ever really get a good appreciation of the sky.

Down here the sheer expanse of sky is the dominating feature. I’ve loved experiencing the sea ice. From watching it grow to hearing it creak and squeak. Living with 21 other expeditioners versus 12 at Macca has also made a big difference to life on station.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time?  Interesting concept… play guitar, pace around, pester others to play with me, read a book, pace around some more.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far?

Anything by Caamp, those guys play rad tunes which are stuck in my head all of the time.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 70th ANARE season here at Casey?

I’ll go for Charlize Theron, with the sass of Donna from Suits.

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?

Wilkes. It is the only one that has been warm.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?


…and the dress up costumes.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why?

Book — The Kon-Tiki Expedition. It conjured up dreams of adventures and exploration on the sea in my childhood mind, which I seem to still be carrying around!

Movie — Moonlight Kingdom. Because Wes Anderson is genius! It is sweet and whimsical and charmingly kooky. Three attributes I love in pretty much anything… or anyone.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite?

My music collection runs out at 2011 at which point I moved to Spotify, so basically my station tunes are old school. Some bluegrass, with a dusting of punk, random indie stuff, lots of female vocals so that I can sing along loudly, and Blondie.

Describe your Casey experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.

Sight — Blue ice — I didn’t actually think that it was going to be blue! Rad.

Smell — The absolute lack thereof.

Sound — The Red Shed thumping and vibrating in a blizz. I have laid in bed and imagined that there is some kind of beast roaring outside waiting to peel the roof off the shed like a can of sardines.

Feeling — The complete shock at the reality of finding myself standing on the Wilkins runway after receiving 36 hours notice to come down here!

Taste — All of the homebrew stouts.

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?

Be yourself , everyone else is taken!

Good friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget.