This week at Casey we see some picturesque images of Antarctica showing how colourful it can be, we get a glimpse of what one of the plumbers here does with his time, and the SL comments on Relay for Life.

How you see it

When people hear the word Antarctica they often think of a ‘great white continent’ of harsh and inhospitable weather, and the black and white of penguins. It can be some or all of those things but one of the reasons that attract people back to it repeatedly is (to newcomers) the surprising amount of colour that occurs almost every day.

The angle of the sun in the sky in conjunction with cloud and other atmospheric conditions combine to create a myriad of ever-changing vistas, even when looking at the same scene. In many ways the term ‘same scene’ becomes an oxymoron. Whilst you may be looking at the same geographic features, the scene is almost never the same. From one day to the next it changes: through the addition or subtraction of snow; the large variation in the angle of the sun between summer and winter; the effect of cloud and atmosphere; even the strip of grey between the snow and the sky — all these things can make the scene you see every day as exciting and wonderous as the first time you saw it.

During summer in Antarctica the photographic ‘magic minute’ glow of sunrise and sunset lasts for hours as the sun dips toward the horizon in a slow arc and reappears again in almost the same place. Taking photos in the warm glow of a midnight sun is a humbling experience.

Clouds and sun angle provide a whole gamut of colour, from yellows to deep reds and purples. Ice and snow, along with icebergs the ocean and the sky produce an amazing quantity of blue hues of which one never tires. Overall it is a very magical place. Antarctica can still be inhospitable and will bite you badly if you don’t respect the conditions, but the rewards are immense, and the quantity of photographs continues to grow daily, often at an alarming rate!

David Wright

Met Tech, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Roasting on ice

I’m sure I am biased but what a great team of people to spend a year in isolation with.

My reasons for heading to Antarctica are selfish ones, I’m sure this is a common theme amongst other expeditioners. My desire primarily was to visit and live in a place that is largely untouched by humans, and while there, contribute and take part in a small, very isolated community. Oh, and while here I might use some of my trade skills. So far, my experience has been awesome and I have had to access things in my brain that I had packed away long ago.

As part of the plumbing crew at Casey I am involved with maintaining reticulated potable, fire and heating hot water, their pumps and controls. Not forgetting there are the air handling plants, heating, and the dreaded kitchen greasy range hood that need the occasional hug to keep them going. And then, when you think you have done all the nasty stuff, along comes the old, well-used, sewage treatment plant which is limping along while waiting for the new CUB (Casey Utility Building) sewage treatment plant to be brought online. After this we get to burn stuff in the incinerator, heaven for pyromaniacs.

This time of year we get to go out in the field and replace damaged or out of position canes that mark the safe routes for us to travel. A welcome escape from the day to day station life and a great photo opportunity.

This week we have also been testing an old water source from many years ago at “Penguin Pass” to verify that we have suitable additional water if needed. There were a few surprised people when we demonstrated an abundance of water 1m below the ice level.

When not working, I make time to roast up some fresh coffee beans and have been enjoying experimenting with different roasts. I have brought down a collection of green beans from places like Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Nicaragua.

Duncan Logan, Casey Plumber

Relay For Life

I’m so proud of everybody here at Casey — they all made the Relay For Life enjoyable and successful, raising a healthy sum for the Cancer Council Tasmania in the process. Luckily we had settled weather with clear skies.

A big thanks to all those who supported us through our efforts over the weekend. 

Ali Dean, Station Leader