Christmas finally comes to Casey and we meet Ev, the very green thumbed met observer whose hidden artistic side is unearthed in the 5 min with.

Station update

Resupply has concluded, Aurora Australis sailed from Newcomb Bay early on Friday morning, and the Casey team collapses (figuratively) into an exhausted heap of frayed nerves.

With a little planning and preparation (and a lot of cooking) we move into a long weekend for a well earned break; allowing the team to rest and recuperate and to celebrate the long awaited, much delayed, Christmas and New Year in one big long day of celebrations. Dom’s story below gives a full outline of the festival of Casey Christmas (makes me tired just thinking of it!).

I just want to take this opportunity to publicly thank all involved in aking our Christmas fabulous, especially the social committee (and those roped in to help the social committee) and our wonderful chefs: Dom, Arvid, Jordan and Adam). What a feast we had!

A fabulous weekend was hadby all with everyone now rested and ready to crack-on with the job, knowing we really only have (at most) two months left of our summer season.

And so, instead of writing any more, I shall let Dom tell the story of our Christmas and New Year and perhaps put just a few photos to give you a taster of the fun…enjoy!

By Rebecca, station leader.

A weekend of festivities

Our Christmas and New Year were finally celebrated after the Aurora Australis left us last week. Resupply was hampered by adverse weather and sea ice conditions which made it drag on nearly a week longer than expected. Our plans to celebrate New Year and Xmas on two separate occasions were scrapped, and we combined it into one full weekend of festivities.

Friday night Mr Matt organised ‘Bubbles and Pizza’ on the helicopter pad with DJ Stu and DJ Dave spinning beats. It was our first day of the bar being open since the beginning of resupply and there were some dry palate’s in need of moistening for which our brewery ‘Two Dogs Brewing Co.' did a fantastic job.

Saturday morning saw a breakfast spread which included such luxury items as hash browns and bratwurst sausages (fresh from resupply) to go with the usual scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, baked beans, berries, fresh sourdoughs and various condiments and sauces. After brunch there was some commotion outside as word of Santa’s Sleigh arrival was whispered throughout the station. A crowd gathered as a fire engine red Hägglunds adorned with a magnificent set of antlers and carrying Santa’s possé roared up the drive blasting Venga Boys and launching chocolate projectiles. No one was ready for the spectacle that was this years Mr and Mrs Claus!

The crowd moved into the red shed where the present giving would occur for the next hour or so. Santa helpers aided in the distributing gifts from kris kringle while the crowd of over a hundred watched on crying with laughter and good cheer.

Once the Secret Santa was over, people relaxed for the afternoon and helped prepare the station for the an evening of events. The dining room was laid out in our finest silver and white linen, and draped with flags of every nationality present. The chefs, who had been preparing all week, assembled the menu of the choicest cuts of meat, fresh gourmet salads, seafood and an abundance of delicious desserts. Candles were lit, formal attire was donned and at six o’clock we all piled in and took place in the long tables of the mess. A few speeches and everyone tucked in filling their plates table by table, cracking corks and pouring glasses. There was no shortage of food and many had second and third servings of what is undoubtedly the most impressive fare the station will see over the summer season.

Once dinner was over people moved out to Splinters and the Wallow where the night club was set up for the evenings New Years Eve Party. The fact that it was January the 6th made no difference to us. The theme was carnival and many abstract costumes, which had nothing to do with the concept, were exhibited. Dinosaurs, cartoon characters, fixed wing and rotary aircraft, painted faces and various onsies were all on display. We danced under neon lights in the blacked out red shed until the early hours when the late night snacks came out and people slowly started drifting off.

The next day saw people fending for themselves as every single person on station had the day off to enjoy as a public holiday. There was so much food from the previous evening that even the chefs didn’t have to work.

Now that the silly season and resupply are over we can finally settle back into the normal work routine and start doing what we are down here for which is to maintain the station and support the science projects.

Belated Happy New year and a very Merry Christmas from Casey station.

By Dom Hall, Casey’s Antarctic chef and station photographer.

5 mins with the 71st ANARE crew: Evelyn Sandoval

Name: Ev

From: Melbourne

Previous seasons? Casey Summer 2010/11, Winter Macquarie Island 2013/14.

Job title: Bureau of Meteorology Weather Observer.

Describe your role in three sentences: Here at Casey I shift work with a great team; the Bureau’s Antarctic Met Team consists of Dmitriy Danchuk (senior forecaster), Jo Haynes (Navy forecaster), Sean Reynolds (engineer technical officer) and Will Tankard (senior observer).

For my part, I perform observations, collect, quality control, prepare and launch radiosondes, then disseminate meteorological data that supports the Bureau’s Surface Observation, Upper Air GUAN (Global Climate Observing System Upper Air Network) and Casey station’s aviation programs.

I also prepare and collect air samples for CSIRO Global Atmospheric Sampling Laboratory (GASLAB) used in the Flask Sampling Network archive for the atmospheric trace gas carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.

What did you do before you joined the AAD? The Bureau of Meteorology partners with the AAD here in Antarctica. Prior to working with the Bureau, I freelanced as a 3D Architectural Graphic Visualiser and Desktop Publisher.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? Being fed beetroot pavlova layered with chocolate mousse and passionfruit sponge cake by the marvelous chefs (Avid, Jordan, Dom). I also love observing and experiencing Antarctic weather systems, local wildlife and our awesome summer crew.

If you were not a Weather Observer what would be your dream job? I feel super spoiled because I’m actually working my dream job and helping out with the hydroponics here on station, so I’m kicking goals.

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? This season is the best!

What do you like to do in your spare time? I assist with hydroponics we have a large team this summer — Jo Haynes, Amy Hobbs, Allan Rose, Will Tankard, Ben Harrison, Matthew Mckay, Ercole Fusco, Zac Lockhard, Stu Carlton, Lauren Wise, Darren Koppel, Gwil Price, Kathryn Brown, Jo Wilson, Anne Hellie and Wilma Huneke.

We’re currently growing lettuce, dill, chilli, capsicums, tomatoes, parsley, chives, celery, rocket, thyme and zucchini. When I’m not hugging the plants or joyfully jumping about with the sweaty lady aerobic squad, I like to draw and make gifs.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? Fever Ray ‘IDK about you’ from Plunge Album.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 71stANARE season here at Casey? 'Totoro’ an animated character from My Neighbour Totoro — directed by the fabulous Hayao Miyazaki who should also direct this film.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? Fingerless gloves.

What is your favourite book and movie and why?
Favourite book: Game of Saturn. Written by Peter Mark Adams this is a historical thriller that decodes a 500 year old Northern Italian aristocratic gaming deck called the Sola–Busca Tarrochi. The deck of cards are severely layered in ancient occult themes and dark forgotten pagan gods — I enjoy the mysterious.

Favourite movie: My Neighbour Totoro. I’m a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki who wrote and directed this 2D hand drawn animation. Hayao is a workaholic who pours the best parts of his soul into his art and always seems to retire after each movie, I admire artists with this type of dedication. The story is set in classical Japan and follows two young sisters who move to the countryside where they encounter the spirits of the forest who help them deal with loss in the most uplifting way.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite? At the moment it’s Kuduro and Electropop.

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


Sound:Kraftwerk synthesizers

Feeling: Delicate sampling of a mammatus cloud

Taste: Lime vodka and mango trifle mmmmm

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with? The spice must flow.