Science is a-happening at Casey as we reach the middle of Summer. Dr Clive gives his view of Casey through pictures. And, we meet Chloe the Casey ‘cargo overlord'.

Station update

It’s nice to have some peace and quiet, no ship in the bay, no inter or intra continental flights. So time to concentrate on kicking those big science goals.

Despite being hampered by some unfriendly weather (apparently helicopters and planes don’t like snow or low cloud or strong winds) we've still managed to be busy getting our Casey summer scientists out and about. It’s also been an excellent opportunity for the rest of our Casey team, not usually involved, to join the science teams out in the field and experience with them the beauty of the Antarctic environment and wildlife.

The King project team, David S supported by Mic R, Greg and Clint, has been lucky enough to get to the Bunger Hills (230nm west of Casey), with flying visits to Mt Strathcona and Mt Sandow in order to collect erratic rock samples, to install seismometers, and collect data from seismometers and GPS instruments already insitu.

The base camp of Edgeworth David (ED) at Bunger Hills is also the site of an Automatic Weather Station (AWS), so I was lucky enough to escort Sean, our Met Tech, on the flight (which was scheduled to return the King team to Casey) to undertake the Bunger Hills AWS maintenance for the year. Despite being a little windy on top of the hill, the maintenance was successful and the AWS at Bunger Hills is now transmitting the weather observations across the globe.

Just over the hill from ED the Russian Antarctic Expedition has set up camp for a month-long geological research expedition, supported from a ‘mother’ ship sitting 70nm offshore. Our team dropped in to their camp for cuppa on the way back to ED one evening and diplomatic relations in Antarctica were enhanced over a discussion comparing maps of the area.

Clint, our Supervising Communications Technical Officer (SCTO), and his willing band of helpers has been out to Ardery Island, to the west of the station operating area, to re-install four ‘bird-watching’ cameras for the Southwell project. A long trip requiring three boats for support was an excellent chance for some sightseeing for the land party and competent crew. The penguins and icebergs did not disappoint.

The Jolley team have been out on the water monitoring their sites and entertaining the local wildlife (see 'Penguin pops in' video on the AAD website). Even the Spedding remediation team has had the opportunity to get off station and undertake some ecotox sampling at Wilkes.

All in all a successful and busy week of science. Now we just need to get the Galton-Fenzi TIDE team out onto the Totten Glacier, weather dependent of course…

By Rebecca Jeffcoat, SL Casey

Dr Clive Strauss’ Casey in Pictures

5 mins with the 71st ANARE crew: Chloe Wessling

Name: Chloe Wessling

Nicknames: Awesome (I totally didn’t just make up that one…)

From: A lot of places and nowhere in particular. Originally Queensland, also spent a lot of time in Darwin, Hobart, Thailand and the Philippines. I’m a nomad.

Previous seasons? This is my first, but it feels like I’ve come home.

Job title: Station Supply Officer/Casey Cargo Overlord

Describe your role in two sentences: Highest priorities are keeping the chefs happy by bringing them anything they need from the warehouse and ensuring the station population is regularly supplied with chips and chocolate.

I also do some stuff with cargo coming and going from Casey station.

What did you do before your joined the AAD? 10 years working in logistics (Army, mining, hospitality) to pay the bills, diving instructor in Asia for the love of it.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? Being able to manage supplies that not only affect people’s ability to do their jobs, but that actually have a meaningful impact on people’s lives down here.

If you were not a storeman what would be your dream job? Fully sponsored cave diving explorer.

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? As yet N/A, I’ll answer this one next season.

What do you like to do in your spare time? On the ice I like to help out in the brewery, relax in the spa or read a good book. Off the ice, I like to dive.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? Summer of ’69 — Bryan Adams (may have also been ‘sung’ at our first karaoke night here at Casey).

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? Carhartt pants! (yes, they deserve a double exclamation mark) I literally wear them every single day.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why? Any book by Brandon Sanderson, the man is a genius.

Describe your Casey experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.
The sight of icebergs in the bay as I sit at the front of the red shed having my morning coffee, a daily tradition. Every day I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to be here and experience the beauty of the Ice.

The sound of laughter

The taste of home brew

The feeling of coming home, even though it’s the first time I’ve been here.

The complete lack of ambient smells means that every scent produced here is amplified and very noticeable.

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?
'Because in the end you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.' Jack Kerouac.