A traverse to Haupt Nunataks was successful with the automatic weather camera given some maintenance, we get to know Brendan our building services supervisor and station leader Jacque shares some of her favourite photos.

Haupt Nunataks — automatic weather station traverse

The Haupt Nunataks are a group of rocky hilltops protruding through the icy landscape approximately 30km south of Casey, next to the Vanderford glacier.  An automatic weather station (AWS) is located on top of the largest nunatak and reports weather data via polar–orbiting satellites.

An overnight traverse to the Haupt Nunataks AWS was scheduled for early August ahead of an annual traverse to the Law Dome AWS. The team departed Casey in mild snowy conditions which became blowing snow as we travelled into the afternoon darkness across the plateau. Unfortunately the engine in our Hägg took a dislike to the icy weather which compelled us to stop overnight a little earlier than intended.

Another team arrived early next morning with a replacement Hägg and we were soon on our way, arriving at the Haupt Nunataks before the mid-morning sunrise.

A replacement battery pack was installed and some maintenance carried out on the AWS equipment and we departed for Casey in fine weather just after midday.

Unfortunately the limited daylight during early August does not provide adequate solar recharging of the batteries and the AWS data transmissions from Haupt Nunataks are very intermittent.

Mark Grainger — BoM Tech and OIC

5 mins with the Casey crew: Brendan Hopkins

Name: Brendan

Nicknames: Duke

From: Melbourne

Previous seasons? Davis 2007, Casey 07/08, Casey 08/09, Davis 2015

Job title: Building Services Supervisor and Deputy Station Leader

Describe your role in two sentences:

I oversee the maintenance of the station infrastructure. Sometimes I have to do some plumbing too.

What did you do before your joined the AAD:

My most recent employment was as a trade school teacher, and before that I was the foreman at a mechanical services construction company in Melbourne.

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

The diversity of work that each day can bring. It’s not often that you can plan your day and have it follow that exact plan, things are always changing.

If you were not a building services supervisor what would be your dream job?

Semi-retired. Not sure what I’d be doing, but it wouldn’t be full time.

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

Each season has been different in their own way

What do you like to do in your spare time? Read

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

I’ve never liked these types of questions so I took an online quiz. Apparently Rob Lowe is the correct answer.

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?

The Red Shed. It has my bed, hot running water, and endless supplies of tea.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? Anything Carhartt

What is your favourite book and why?

It has been (and will be) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, however I’ve just finally got around to reading One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and I would put that right up there too. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

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

Pearl Jam, Springsteen, The Waifs, Paul Dempsey, Jenny Biddle, Powderfinger, Soundgarden, The Frames, Missy Higgins.

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

Bacon fits the bill for all of those things.

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

Now back to work you lot!

My Casey in pictures: Jacque Comery

My Casey in pictures… well it is all about the sky down here… and the occasional cute seal.