Out on the ice and getting ready for traverse

Keeping busy

As we head into the last three months at Casey, the team has been busy planning the completion of projects, getting ready for traversing to Law Dome and getting out and about in the Station Operating Area.

We’ve had the opportunity to quad to Browning’s, ski to Wilkes and around the local bays as well as enjoy a couple of overnight and day trips to huts. There has also been some wildlife in the area with Weddell Seals lazing on the ice and even a lone Adélie Penguin at Shirley Island looking for his mates.

The team has continued to work on many things including Red Shed renovations, Wilkins Aerodrome start up requirements and the mechanical stock take. We also continue to eat amazing food and to experience the changing weather whilst enjoying the longer days as we move towards spring.

Chris (SL) 

Getting to Know a Casey Expeditioner — Juan Pablo Guerrero

Name: Juan Pablo Guerrero

Nicknames: some guys call me Juano, but most people call me Juan

From: Bogota — Colombia

Previous seasons? No, this is my first time in Antarctica

Job title: Field Training Officer — Supply Officer

Describe your role in two sentences: I look after the training for field operations and also look after the supply services over winter. This means that my days jump between camping and travelling to different areas to play with forklifts and tele-handlers.

What did you do before your joined the AAD? I have been an outdoor educator, climber, mountaineer, expedition guide, outdoor leader, dancer, paraglider, trainer, stunt man, university lecturer, salesman, climbing instructor and kitchen-hand.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? To open my eyes, on any day, look outside, go for a walk and realise that I work in one of the most fascinating places on Earth.

If you were not an FTO what would be your dream job? I have been fortunate enough that I have gone from a great job to the next. However, I think I would love to work in a creative industry, maybe film, photography or writing.

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 do have a lot of interests and hobbies so let’s see:

  • Photography
  • Hiking
  • Knife making
  • Reading
  • Ukulele and drums playing
  • Writing
  • Video filmmaking
  • I run a couple start-ups in Colombia
  • Watching movies and docos
  • Gym and exercise
  • Baking

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? I have a Spotify playlist I downloaded before coming down south called “Calming Sanctuary Music”. It is a mix of relaxing songs and natural sounds that we have not heard for 9 months. Like birds, ocean waves and waterfalls. I am writing this as I listen to that… way better than the MPH (Main Power House).

What actor would play you in a film version of our 72nd ANARE season here at Casey? I don’t think he acts but I reckon we will have to cast Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? I love to take a hot drink on the field, nothing brings up the spirits better than a hot tea at −20C. So, I love my thermos flask.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why? We re-watched recently The Matrix trilogy. I think it brings up the conversation of reality, perception and societal constructs. They are always interesting concepts to explore.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite? I play my own playlist when on slushy duties and it is full of Salsa, Reggae, Cuban Son, Tango and other experimental mixes. I’m not sure everyone loves it, but if I’m slushy…I rock for the day.

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

Sight: The sea or sea ice from Reeves Hill

Smell: Shirley Island in summer (penguin poo)

Sound: The fire alarm

Taste: My birthday cake

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

“What matters in life is not what happens to you, is what you remember and how you remember it.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Something thing people may not know about you: I am actually, not Mexican.