Counting down to Midwinter

Midwinter is nearly here

This week commences the final countdown until Midwinter’s Day on 21st June 2019. At Casey, this means the shortest day of the year, with sunrise at 11:24am and sunset at 1:54pm — a whole 2.5 hours of daylight. This is more than the other Australian Antarctic continental stations, which will have zero…. but less than most of us have ever experienced in our lifetimes.

Casey will celebrate the day with a midday dip in a pool cut from the ice near the wharf, followed by a long and impressive formal dinner. There will be the exchange of midwinter of gifts and the telling of many tales of the adventure so far.

The team has also been busy since the last update, getting out on sea ice, commencing the winter ice-monitoring program, checking on the Wilkins and Casey ski-way landing facilities, working on the Red Shed, making sure machinery is ready for the upcoming season and completing the annual hut maintenance trips.

We have also enjoyed many after-hour activities including a great murder mystery night, a State of Origin pub night, a cooking class, a dart competition, completion of a Monet inspired puzzle, and the viewing of the first three seasons of Game of Thrones — to name just a few.

Chris (Station Leader)

Getting to know a Casey expeditioner — Sam Sanders

Name: Sam Sanders

Nicknames: The Colonel

From: Melbourne

Previous seasons? First time

Job title: Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Technician

Describe your role in two sentences: I look after the BoM’s engineering program which involves maintaining automatic weather stations and other external client equipment. I also undertake surface and upper air observations to assist in the climate and forecasting program.

What did you do before you joined the AAD? I worked as a communication electronics technician for the Royal Australian Air Force

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? Working alongside a great bunch of people from different backgrounds as there are always plenty of stories to share.

If you were not a meteorology technician what would be your dream job? Military helicopter pilot. Travelling the world, flying helicopters and getting paid to do it would be awesome. 

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

What do you like to do in your spare time? I spend time reading, studying and going to the gym

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? Cold as Ice — Foreigner

What actor would play you in a film version of our 72nd ANARE season here at Casey? Jon Snow, keeping the systems alive against the wildlings

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? Icebreaker thermals, they make all the difference

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

The Story of Earth — Robert Hazen, an easy to read account of the planet based on science, what isn’t to love about the history of our planet?

Interstellar — Christopher Nolan, a film about saving mankind by finding another planet to live on because ours is becoming uninhabitable 

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite? Alternative rock, a bit of Incubus always makes a good vibe

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

Sight: Whiteness

Smell: Chef’s delicious meals

Sound: Stirring of a spoon in a mug

Feeling: Numbness of the finger tips

Taste: Tim tams

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with? “If you do not ask you will not receive” — a wise person

Something people may not know about you: I used to be a real estate agent