This week at Casey, an update from Zach and we meet Scotty our resident Viking and plumber extraordinaire, while we get taken over by renovations and loooong blizzards and an Emperor comes to visit.

Station update

This week at Casey the Red Shed project has moved back downstairs and started to demolish the old WCs and last remaining vestiges of the old bar, Splinters. Wandering around what was once our lovely living space on Tuesday it suddenly became obvious that they have well and truly taken over every little bit of available space and we are now without question living in a renovation. Nick will report next week on what the team have been up to and the progress shots will be amazing; but the pics this week are to show just a little bit of what we’re living amongst and dealing with quite patiently. (I wonder how long that will last…)

This week has seen our most significant blizzard to date, winds to 95kts and it lasted from Friday afternoon to Monday morning… some call it a boss’s bliz as it only interrupted the weekend, not an hour of the working week was lost. Just as our three day bliz started we made it outside for a photo to mark NAIDOC week, it was a bit too windy to put up the flags but still a great shot of the team recognising an important event.

To mark the time indoors over the weekend, we held an ABC Party on Saturday night. ABC stands for Anything But Clothes and we saw some extraordinary costumes crafted. Bubble wrap, duct work, a met balloon (yes, Will managed to insert himself in a met balloon), and many many garbage bags were sacrificed in the name of Antarctic fashion. The durability of the designs was then tested through a series of party games, most outfits (thankfully) withstood the exertion; Scotty 2 Dogs did have some issues in his prize winning costume (see pic) as it was not particularly manoeuvrable.

And, probably the most exciting event of the week… The team out on O’Brien Bay undertaking the last of the sea-ice travel training spotted an emperor penguin (pic provided as proof). Yes, we know that Mawson has thousands of emperor penguins within driving distance, but we are so deprived of any living thing other than ourselves at the moment that any animal, especially such an extraordinary animal, is cause for much excitement. (And much jealousy for those who were not in the small party of four out on the ice.) We believe it’s a juvenile, and there has been much conjecture as to why it’s here so far from any rookery (just another reason we need a penguin biologist with us here on station over winter!). The final consensus (thanks Troy) is that it’s a free and single guy who’s a trail blazer, loving the single life, travelling and exploring the continent, eating different things, hanging out with the Adèlies and Chinstraps, and checking out all the stations,. He’ll set up a Tinder account for next year’s mating season. Well we say; "make the most of it fella, it won’t be long before your spending these winter months fasting (approximately 125 days) while incubating an egg in a rookery. So live life while you can!"

Is that anthropomorphizing? We know it’s wrong but they really do look so human. Here’s to the Emperor…may there be many more!

Rebecca (Casey SL) 

Keeping busy in winter in one’s own 26,000 square km

As we approach the end of July the days are getting noticeably longer and despite seemingly endless blizzards, morale is keeping strong through a combination of busy work programs, social activities, the occasional burst of sunshine and the very welcoming sight of snow petrels beginning to return.

For those of us that arrived on the first flight in last year, it is now day number 266 and we are nearly down to a countdown of just double digits until we return home — wherever that may be. With the clock ticking, we are desperately cramming in all of our ‘bucket-list’ items we planned over a year ago during the recruitment period. 

For myself it means spending as much time as possible around good mates, learning the not-so-subtle art of woodturning, rationing the last carton of 2014 Petaluma Red, continuing to fight gravity in the gym, eating as much brunch as possible, pretending I can completely dismantle my external hard drive in order to fix it whilst failing miserably and beginning to think about what the next adventure may hold.


Amongst all of those, is the occasional trip out to field huts to enjoy wood-fired pizza, warm wine, riding the bus, solid banter, mastering the art of question master, snow wrestling and watching celestial aurora’s dance across the Milky Way in one of the most isolated places of the world.


As David Attenborough puts it: “At a time when it’s possible for thirty people to stand on the top of Everest in one day, Antarctica still remains a remote, lonely and desolate continent.”


This couldn’t be any truer, as it has dawned on me that right now, as Bec assures me, there are exactly 464 people on this continent which is nearly twice the size of Australia, meaning that us winterers individually get around 26 thousand square kilometres each. Personally, I’ll stick to the creature comforts of Casey station and probably try to get down to the spa or sauna shortly to thaw out.

In the meantime, the rugby followers are looking forward to the highly anticipated Bledisloe Cup and I can only wish rigger Allan the deepest of my sympathies in advance. Up the Wallabies!


By Zach

5 min with the 71st ANARE crew: Scotty Beardsley

Name: Scott Beardsley

Nicknames: Scotty

From: Bris-vegas

Previous seasons? Casey summer 2010/2011, Davis winter 2012

Job title: Maintenance Plumber

Describe your role in two sentences: Providing the station with water and heat

What did you do before your joined the AAD? Operator for Queensland Urban Utility

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? Pumping water and taking the mickey out of the sparklers

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

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? So far this season has been awesome, a great bunch of people who have fun

What do you like to do in your spare time? 4x4, camping and reading

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? “Another drinking song” by Mighty Mighty Bosstones

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

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why? Jacks, it’s a small hut but awesome view

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? The socks, they’re really comfy

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why? Books I have so many I can’t pick just one, movie would be “Warcraft”

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

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

Sight: hmm bacon

Smell: bacon

Sound: bacon cooking

Feeling: biting into a rasher of bacon

Taste: bacon

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with? “It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, and you can’t prove I did” — Bart Simpson