It’s cargo cargo cargo this week at Casey as Christmas and New Year are delayed until Aurora Australis leaves Newcomb Bay at the completion of resupply. And we meet Jords, one of Casey’s chefs who’s every happy that the fresh food’s arrived this week.

Station Update

It seems so long since our last update, with so much done but then so little to really report. We have been concentrating on resupply and science.

Resupply was an on again / off again affair pending sea-ice conditions in Newcomb Bay and near the Casey wharf and with unpleasant weather in the first few days. However, Aurora Australis persisted with us and returned after a couple of days of marine science and a good blow which was strong enough to clear out much of the sea-ice. What wasn’t cleared through natural causes was quickly removed by the team of very efficient water craft operators whom we've been lucky enough to call part of the Casey family on and off now for the last two weeks.

A full resupply report has been provide below by Lori, Deputy Station Leader but even more importantly (at the moment) our amazing Resupply Coordinator and keeper of the rosters.

We will be happy to see the AA sail off over the horizon and are looking forward to returning to our long (two months) established routines, but in turn also sad to see them leave. In a short but intense period we've made friends, renewed acquaintances, developed a very sound respect for their amazing competence, and have appreciated their perpetual cheer (and continual stream of willing volunteers for slushy duty if it means in night ashore on station). I just hope they're not offended by our always present question: When will cargo be finished?

We’ll also be saying a fond farewell to Summerers who have been with us from the start, Dr Cad and Mick our Senior Field Training Officer will be sorely missed and we wish them “fair winds and following seas” on their journey home.

Meanwhile, resupply hasn’t been the only party in town; science and supporting operations have been ongoing. We’ve had projects out on the water, in helicopters, into haggs, and flying in the twin-otter and basler fixed wing aircraft. Weather frustrations have limited the flying that we have been able to do, but Jac our ops coordinator has used up every opportunity to get as much science out and about as is physically possible with plans ranging from A to Z ready to enact each day.

As we are on the cusp of finishing resupply, what is ahead… a much belated Christmas and New Year jammed all into one big weekend celebration. Santa is yet to come to Casey but I know he and Mrs Claus and the elves are eager to visit and reward all the good Casey people who have worked so hard through resupply and in supporting the concurrent science programs.

By Rebecca Jeffcoat, Station Leader

Cargo, cargo, cargo and a little fuel

This week at Casey resupply is upon us! The Aurora Australis arrived in harbour just before Christmas to commence the annual refuel and resupply of the station. The first attempt was thwarted by thick fast ice stubbornly sitting in front of the wharf. After assessing conditions and weather forecasts the Aurora Australis decided to fulfil to some science projects for a few days and return after forecasted winds had assisted the plant operators in breaking up the ice. Before leaving Voyage Leader James did some shopping for us and sent across boxes of food so there would be enough to get by for a few more days.

Cargo operations started up with the long awaited fresh and frozen food coming first off to restock the empty fridges and freezers in the Green Store. All hands on station assisted with unpacking and stacking the shelves.

During the initial two days of cargo refuelling preparations were also being made. Just under a million litres of diesel was pumped ashore in a 30 hour period, with personnel monitoring the fuel lines around the clock. Refuel was another whole-station effort, with science groups putting their programs on hold to assist with the monitoring rosters. The early morning rosters were rewarded with spectacular views over the bay and there were many curious penguins coming up to watch activities.

Refuel completed, we are now back on cargo operations which are due to wrap up by the weekend. Though it will be sad to bid farewell to our friendly VL James, DVL Dave and all the AA crew we are all looking forward to the day off and then our delayed Christmas/New Year celebrations!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year from Antarctica.

By Lorriene Lyte, Deputy Station Leader / ESS(Projects)

5 minutes with the 71st ANARE: Jordan Smith

Name: Jordan Smith

Nicknames: Jords

From: Sydney (but wherever my bags are is ‘home’)

Previous seasons? Summer 15/16 and Summer 16/17 both at Casey 

Job title: Chef

Describe your role in two sentences:

To feed the hungry hoards (sometimes it’s like they’ve never been fed!). To try to keep everyone happy and full, while trying to cater to everyone’s needs and preferences, which at times can be very challenging, yet also rewarding.

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

I’ve been a Chef for almost 20 years. I’ve worked in Sydney, The French Alps, Banff in Canada, various places in the US and The Kimberley WA. In the Kimberley I worked at a luxury fishing camp (mmm fresh fish!) and also for a helicopter company (not cooking, just for something different… and for the free chopper flights I got to go on!). I have also been working on and off for OzHarvest for the past 4 years; food waste is a huge issue, so working there I feel like I’m contributing to something larger in society.

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

Seeing the delight on people’s faces when I’ve made something they love.

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

Photographer for National Geographic.

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

Each season is different because of the people, not better or worse, just different. This summer seems more chilled out, so far, than my previous two.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Here at Casey I like to go for walks around the ski loop (I’m a good downhill skier but a useless cross country skier!) and up Reeves Hill or down to the Wharf. Socialise around a good cheese platter and a glass of red :) Read a good book. Watch TV series on my laptop (or whilst exercising on the cross-trainer in the cardio room). And most importantly — get off station to a field hut overnight whenever possible!

What song sums up your Casey experience so far?

“Too Much Is Never Enough” — Florence + The Machine

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

I’d love to say someone glamorous and fierce like Charlize Theron or Gal Gadot but I think someone a bit more awkward, clumsy and down-to-earth like Drew Barrymore would be more realistic.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

The neck warmer.

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

Being a bookworm and avid movie watcher since I was a kid, I cannot answer this question, as I have too many of both…

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

As one of the chefs, we don’t often get to play our own music on Slushy FM, however in the wee hours of the morning when I’m up making bread I do get to listen to my music for a couple of hours, which is usually very chilled. I do however enjoy listening to everyone else’s music (well, almost everyone!)

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

Sight: The icebergs out the windows (even from my ‘office’, the kitchen).

Smell: The one that will forever remind me of Antarctica; Orange Oil Spray (any expeditioner will know what I mean!)

Sound: The snow petrels chirping away on Reeves Hill and the penguins chattering on Shirley Island.

Feeling: Awe (I still have to pinch myself that I get to live and work here).

Taste: Wood-fired pizza at Wilkes Hilton (Hilkes Wilton!).

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

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, its lethal”. — Paulo Coelho