This is the final Icy News Casey Station Update from myself and the Casey 71st ANARE crew. Our handover is complete and we are now obsolete. The new team, led by Chris MacMillian, have been fabulous and are now ready and raring to go and to leave their mark on the station. We wish them all the best in their endeavours. May their year be as positive and productive as ours has been.
I couldn’t go this last time before writing one final love letter to Casey. For those who may have read any of the previous Icy News Station Updates of this past year, I hope you have ‘picked up what I’m puttin’ down’. Casey is a truly spectacular and special place and it has been an adventure of a lifetime to call her home for the past 368 days.
Casey will always have a special place in our hearts. We’ve forever been changed by the experience of living and working on Wilkes Land amongst the Windmill Islands of East Antarctica. If you see us back at home suddenly stop mid-sentence with our eyes glazed over as we stare off into the distance we’re likely back on the ice with our Casey family.
Remembering the view over Newcomb Bay, from the windows of the RedShed, of the icebergs in the distance being lit up by the rising sun; or listening for the hum of the power house or the distant squawk of the penguins; or our taste buds are watering for the maltiness of 2 Dogs Homebrew or Dom’s curries, or the crunch of multitude cucumbers from hydro. Or, we might pause as we enter a room of people, hoping that when we turn the corner it will be to arrive in the mess where we’ll see the 26 familiar faces that we’ve come to know so well over these past months of enforced closeness.
Ahh, those faces. How I will miss them. What a wonderful bunch of people to have shared such an experience with. It has truly been an honour and privilege to lead you through this past year and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work, laughter, support, friendship and trust.
Just over a year ago, I spoke at the Hobart Lord Mayor’s reception for opening of the Antarctic season. In that speech I quoted the opening paragraphs of Sir Hubert Wilkins’ biography by Simon Nasht:
Looking down from the well-trodden trails and peaks first claimed by others, we feel a mixture of awe and envy at the achievements of the past century’s great explorers, the “last of the first”. For they, unlike us, had the unknown ahead of them, challenges that tested the limits of human endurance and courage… These few removed the last corners of terra incognita from the maps and from our imaginations… one after another they conquered the poles, climbed the highest mountains, and mapped the last land. Many tried, a handful succeeded… Ultimately these were men of action, driven by a curious mix of ego, courage and duty.
At that time, I said that I would like to think that this latest group of expeditioners, the Casey 71st ANARE, were following in the footsteps of those great explorers, and, like them, we were also men and women of action.
If you have followed along with us this past year, I hope you will agree that we have been just that. Men and women of action, driven by a curious mix of ego, courage and duty. Good job.
Rebecca (Casey SL Rtd.)
Following is a collection of our favourite photos from the year…