A fly over station for famil, we meet the Casey comms team and five minutes with Stuart the Chippie!

Station update

A chance to stop and reset this week with no inter-continental flights, although our friendly JKB Basler did stay on, waiting for good weather at Davis, and we also had the GCX Basler arrive from the Chinese station Zhong Shan, after a little detour to Wilkins, on Monday.

With JKB still with us and beautiful weather on Monday, the opportunity was taken for key station staff to undertake a reconnaissance flight over the station operating area and a second low light recce training flight for the air crew and field training officers. An incredible opportunity to fly over this amazing part of the world — viewing Cape Poinsett, the Totten Glacier, Law Dome, the Vanderford Glacier, Haupt Nanatak, and then back to the Casey skiway giving a fabulous view of the station as we came in to land.

The station is humming along with the additional accommodation of east wing now ready for the first residents. It’s a beautiful job that’s been completed by the projects team, including lovely park bench, crafted by Nev, for the front porch (I'll chase up some photos for next week’s edition).

The diesos (with station assistance) undertook an unscheduled fuel transfer which was a perfectly planned and executed exercise with not one drop of fuel leaving the lines (much to the relief of the remediation team).

The lovely summer weather has allowed us to continue extraordinary recreational activities, with visits to field huts, a 10km ski/walk/run/ride activity from the Casey skiway to station on Sunday afternoon, and a couple of last crossings to Shirley Island to see the penguins (making the most of a slightly extended sea-ice travel season).

The ‘Summer 2017 Casey Quiz Night’ was held on Saturday night, with the incredible quiz master skills of Matt M and his fabulous assistants Stu S and Pat (rice) coming to the fore. The Casey Ops/Comms team (The Penguin Whisperers) is now looking forward to an all expenses paid table service degustation meal, with waiting services supplied by the (losing) team (Brain Freeze).

All in all, a great week. The count down to the arrival of Aurora Australis for resupply has begun and then Christmas!

By Rebecca (station leader).

Meet the Casey Comms team

The Comms team at Casey was once metaphorically described as the elite special forces of the Australian Antarctic Division. Over time, this has been widely debunked, more so when the original source was identified. Nonetheless, they do provide a vital service on station. There are six members of the team, three on the technical side and three on the operational side. Each claim to be able to do the other job better.

On the technical side, Clint, Stu and Brett keep the station’s communication and IT humming. From servicing equipment, loading programs, fixing software, trekking out to distant antenna to do…well, no one actually knows why, but it does take a lot of time…to analysing the infamous daily Clint ‘who has used the most data’ pie chart, everyone loves it, until they’re on it! These guys really are the masters of zeros and ones. Sure, the workshop looks a little like a scene from Alien (pick a scene, any scene) but they do a fabulous job of keeping everyone connected.

Narelle, Robyne and Matt are the operators. They man the radio, talking to air, land and sea assets, tracking and logging all movements, and monitoring any recreational parties. Basically, the station sleeps tight, knowing our comms ops are awake 24/7, a coiled spring ready to strike when required! They also do much of the communication administration.

One important task is safe delivery of the daily crossword to the waiting hoards at morning smoko. This is the only time they are required to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) for fear of being physically attacked by the baying mob. They also adjudicate many of the physical altercations that occur regarding disputes over who finished the crossword first.

An eclectic bunch are our comms personnel, nearly all have OCD in one form or another. There’s a smattering of ex-military, a firefighter, the world’s most unlikely apprentice plumber and oddly enough, someone with an IT background. When the gangs take over the airwaves, pray that they’re out there, keeping radios on, data moving, GPS tracking, Melbourne ATC happy, satellites bouncing signals and crosswords being printed.


5 mins with the 71st ANARE crew: Stuart Carlton

Name: Stuart Carlton.

From: Perth (UK originally).

Previous seasons? No.

Job title: Carpenter/Joiner.

Describe your role in two sentences:

Ongoing development of Casey infrastructure over 2017/18 summer season. Participation in socialist style community.

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

Project management and fire compartmentation.

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

Because of the rigorous recruitment process you get to work with the best tradesmen.

If you were not a carpenter what would be your dream job?

Physical science research.

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


What do you like to do in your spare time?

Anything to do with music.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far?

High Plains Drifter by Beastie Boys.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 71st ANARE season here at Casey?

Peter Sellers.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

Blue steel work boots, usually have the Kmart specials.

What is your favourite book and movie and why?

Book: Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari, a fresh objective view of the effects of prohibition.

Film: Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino, laugh out loud dialog all the way through.

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

The journey goes…

8:00 — 9:00am: reggae

9:00 — 12:00pm: relaxed electronic and hip hoppy type stuff

12:00 — 3:00pm: guitar–based

3:00 — 5:00pm: house

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

Sight: whiteness

Smell: lavender diffusing oils

Sound: quietness

Feeling: insignificance

Taste: cake

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

Are you happy?