Getting out and about at Casey.

Huts of Casey

We are often asked how we spend our free time, and do we get out and about from the station. The answer is yes we do! As much as time and weather allows. One of the best activities is to go to one of four huts in our station operating area. The four huts are in order from north to south: Jack’s, Wilkes, Robbo’s and Browning’s.

Jack’s Donga

Jack’s is the smallest and sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Swain Island group. The hut sleeps four, and is very snug fit. It also has a detached toilet with a great view which often blizzes in with snow. Jack’s is about 16km by GPS route and is a perfect vantage point to watch the sunrise and sunset.

Wilkes Hilton

Wilkes Hilton is the oldest hut in our area and comes with the heritage of being originally part of the US Station before Australia took it over in 1959. The huts lies across Newcomb Bay from Casey and is about 10km by GPS route. The hut is the old radio shack, is by far the biggest hut and sleeps eight. The hut also still has a pot belly stove which makes it quite comfortable to stay in.

Robinson Ridge Hut

Robbo’s is the only hut with a deck which makes it hard to beat on a nice day. It overlooks Sparkes Bay and Odbert Island which has one of the area’s largest Adélie penguin colony. It sleeps 5–6 and is about 18km from Casey to the south.

Browning Peninsula Hut

Browning’s is the furthest of our huts at about 60km from station by GPS route. The area around Browning’s is spectacular with lots of hills, rocks and lakes. The area is also where we find elephant seals at different times of year. The hut can sleep 6 but the table is really made for 4 or 5 so it’s quite a squeeze, but it works.

Getting to know a Casey Expeditioner — Alan Lee

Name: Alan Lee

Nicknames: Al

From: Perth, Western Australia

Previous seasons? Summer 14/15

Job title: Concreter/General Trades

Describe your role in two sentences: I have been busy working in the red shed, helping create an internal façade around the internal structure and services, that is both comfortable and pleasant to live in. This has included fire proofing, plastering, bulk head work, painting, varnishing, carpet laying and skirting fixing.

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

Registered building practitioner, also registered building contractor WA and Tasmania. I am the director of Alinga Constructions Pty Ltd which was incorporated in 1996 and still operates to the present day.

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

Getting a smile from the expeditioners when they see and experience the finished product.

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

Probably a dietitian so I could torture everyone.

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

Summer season at a very busy station, lots of expeditioners. Winter is far more the family, close knit, intimate, but it’s still easy to find quiet spot, if preferred. Both are unforgettable experiences.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Skiing is my first preference but that’s weather dependent. I also like running and if there’s inclement weather, it’s on the treadmill. I also very much enjoy reading, I’m always looking forward to Scrabble night and I enjoy a funny movie every Friday with my pals.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far?

Traveling up and down the A line to and from station (both seasons), the song that always comes to mind is Road to nowhere by Talking Heads. This season, a fun running song Heavy fuel by Dire Straits.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 72nd ANARE season here at Casey?

John Cleese

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

All my brain cells unanimously scream out, the ski gear.

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

I like lots of different authors. I am big fan of Tim Winton, I’d find it hard picking a best one, Shepherds Hut is his latest. I think he’s a great Australian writer, very powerful. In my view his books are written more for young men, of which I’m one!

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

Working in the red shed, the smell of the bread baking always has my mouth water. The hiss of the ski slicing across the snow, sometimes the smell of sea side salty fresh air drifting in, as I travel around the ski loop. From penguin pass in the early evening, as the light slips away and the stars begin to twinkle, Casey/our home beacons, it’s cosy, friendly, there’s a warm dinner waiting and inside things to do. Let’s go then.  

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

“The family can be one of nature’s masterpieces” George Moore, Irish novelist 1800s

Something thing people may not know about you: I’m a twin.