This week at Casey we're in the midst of stocktakes and Sunday strolls, the Red Shed Report updates on the progress of our renos, and we meet Al our lovable rigger (when not in All Black mode).

Station Update

Two months to go for most of the team as of today. The countdown has begun and with it the end of season activities and planning. Stocktake is the word of the week with everyone around station counting their supplies; mattresses, doonas, hydroponics equipment, hobby hut tools, VIP gifts, maps, sewing supplies, fuel spill kits… oh and food… to name just a few. The lists seem never ending. Despite being a brain numbing job, it’s a key job; ensuring the stores required to keep the next team going through winter 2019 are ordered, received, consigned, and packed in time to make the Aurora Australis’ voyage to Casey in December. So we keep on counting with all ten fingers and toes and Shane’s abacus out and in use.

The first round of our inter station darts with Macca was a bit of a failure on Friday night, but we’re in training and very confident that we will have a better showing against Davis (historically Casey’s arch nemesis). Despite our sad loss, it was a great evening and lovely to have some friendly inter station banter, across the hundreds of kilometres, over the hour or so that it took for us to be soundly beaten.

Saturday night saw all of the team sitting down to a delicious formal dinner; pork belly with corn puree, eye fillet with cauliflower, asparagus and confit garlic, and then a delicious lemon tart with raspberries and gin and tonic sorbet. Just delicious. We count ourselves very lucky to have Dom as our chef this winter; will look back on our family formal dinners and the great food we’ve been lucky enough to eat with nostalgia, and with a grumbling stomach.

Dinner was held after watching the second Bledisloe Cup match. Once again Allan, our most vocal All Blacks supporter (as you will see from his interview below), was very happy with the results and, luckily for him, he’s learnt when to stop with the banter. (He was quite close to being put outside to contemplate his win with the icebergs.) But he was inside and warm to join us for dinner… even if wearing an All Blacks t-shirt at the dinner table!

The expected windy weather of Sunday did not eventuate and the day was too lovely to stay inside watching television, so a hardy group of expeditioners decided to go for a Sunday stroll.

Now, a Sunday stroll in Antarctica is not quite like a Sunday stroll back home, it was −27C and we were walking on the sea-ice outside station limits; so sea-ice drill kit, LOTS of cold weather gear, radios, and our survival packs were all required. Some decided to drag their gear behind them on sleds, while others shouldered their packs, it made for an interesting group heading out onto the sea-ice from the Casey wharf, around Newcomb Bay, to Shirley Island channel and then back again. We measured the sea-ice thickness as we went. (All over 70cm, so more than safe for travel.) It was smooth and easy going and, despite some cold fingers when trying to take photographs, a great way to spend a Sunday arvo (as the photos will attest).

But, thoughts of walks in the fresh air are not getting stocktakes completed… back to it; I think I have some stationary to count.

Rebecca (Casey SL)

The Red Shed Report

As the Red Shed Project moves into September, the physical changes to the first floor are complete. The bar, the cardio, quiet lounge, library and phone booths, odeon and adjacent plantroom are now all functioning in their final layout.

This being so, the intention for the first floor to become available to the community is about to be realised. The rooms and new floor space will be cleared of any residual material storage, and with community help will be replaced with the sofas, chairs and coffee tables from downstairs. The ground floor is now destined as storage space for supplies and equipment.

The new library remains as site office as station computers and printer continue to function here.

And downstairs on the ground floor, the replacement ablution block is well and truly taking shape. The cordoned off ‘construction zone’ remains in place around the ablution works for the benefit of the communal activities beyond.

The new comms corner area is already being used as it is finally intended, with radio charging and the requisite information boards — intentions/ muster/hut booking/travel conditions — all now located here. 

The existing and tiny main entry cold porch is due for demolition in the first week of this next month, September. Temporary access will be via the existing Doc’s cold porch or existing fire cold porch. There will be no storage of boots and clothing in the fire cold porch, but rather an area will be cleared within the loading dock to take expeditioners’ gear. This marks the beginning of the move to properly installing the new large entry cold porch in this area.

Ahead, our final four weeks of project work, with all areas to be made functional in this time.

October will be given over to removing all remnants of project work from the building and assisting with general Station preparations ahead of the new season arrivals.

All good.

Nick, BSS Projects (Winter 2018)

5 min with the 71st ANARE crew: Allan Rose

Name: Allan Rose

Nicknames: Here at Casey… Dr Al or Nurse Rose

From: I live in Banyo QLD. Originally from Washdyke Timaru, New Zealand, just down the road from where Phar Lap was born and in the long shadow of Aoraki before heading over the dutch to help my Aussie cousins.

Previous seasons? This is Season One. Looking forward to the next one.

Job title: Rigger

Describe your role in two sentences: Riggers lift and shift heavy items

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

Rigging and boilermaking throughout Australia and New Zealand. Indulging in the hospitality and landscape of Tassie during 3 months pre departure training. What a gem.

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

Knowing that anything we do ultimately assists the scientists with their work for our dear mother earth.

Flag Officer — I had no idea how humbling it is, pleasing people from all over the world flying their flag next to the Australian National Flag here in the Antarctic. Receiving gratitude from my indigenous relations has also been awesome. Thanks Maj. ANZAC day flag marshalling, what an honors to pay such respect.

Working with anyone on station as my fellow expeditioners have some bloody amazing talents. 

Listening to The Mann’s station meeting jokes.

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

Session bassist (I have a bit to do though).

Deliver Workplace Health and Safety speeches. 

Build and exhibit steel sculptures and furniture.

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

This is my first season. Unreal.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Play Bass so I can please my teacher Aidan and embarrass my nephew Jess.

Teaching Naval Commanders, Doctors, Met Observers, Chefs, Met Engineers Plumbers and Planties how to weld. Casey Welding 101 has been a blast.

Look North

Ask Brett how to sand this timber. Beat all the other chess players on station (well sometimes).

Play in the welding bay with a hammer for Marcus.

Remind Zach about The Crusaders and the blessed All Blacks.

What songs sums up your Casey experience so far?

Metallica — Orion

As we near our departure though it has got to be: Terry Clark — Christmas (I’m coming home) a great tune from a dinkum Aussie. Looking forward to his new album.

The storm bird tune — Thanks Deb

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

Russel Coight for sure in a version of All Antarctic Adventures. Otherwise any of the Cirque de soleil aerial artists.

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?

Wilkes for the history and the fireplace.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

Field Manual pages 16 and 17 to be specific. Had the utmost pleasure of learning the importance of these pages during our Survival Training with FTO Beachy back in November last year.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why?

Book: Richie McCaw — The Open Side (Richie for President)

Movie: John Powers — The Last of the Knuckle men

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

Hard Rock, Blues and Jazz, Can’t beat Maccas though I think he should win Slushy FM.

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

Sight — Newcomb Bay

  • Anything North and then the remainder 360 degrees.
  • The AA in the Bay
  • The Bain Marie
  • My Casey family on Miss Casey night
  • Ben losing in chess to me again


  • Chef Dom’s meals.


  • My Fender Rumble 25 fed from my Ibanez
  • Maccas music
  • The 6pm Bell, although I am usually there when it rings


  • The Antarctic under my bare feet


  • 2 Dogs — Moon Tan

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

Oh my god check out this rock: Paul and Ron showing me the most amazing rocks in the landscape

May the force be with you – my dad Pete