The 74th Casey wintering team are sent off in true Antarctic style

From the old to the new

As the season of the 74th ANARE at Casey drew to a close, the bulk of our 75th crew commenced their 2021-22 season, arriving via flights from mid-November.

For the 75th ANARE it's been a long road to get here, consisting of weeks to months of training and pre-departure preparations in Hobart, followed by a two-week hotel quarantine period prior to flying south.

After we arrived, a few whirlwind days ensued with station orientation, settling in and getting started on our various roles around Casey. While doing this, it was also the right time to officialise the transition from the old to the new with a handover celebration. The 74th wintering team was given a festive farewell packed with food and drink, moving speeches, plaques, presentations, and well-wishes for their bus ride to Wilkins the next morning, where an Airbus 319 would be waiting to take them back to Australia and the lives they'd left behind.

… Or so they thought.

The infamous 'A-factor' – an element of chaos intrinsic to Antarctica (that always pops up whenever it's least expected or wanted) reared its head with a spell of poor weather that 'boomeranged' the Airbus back to Hobart and the 74th-ers back to Casey for another night. A last laugh from the continent that's held them captive for the past year, reminding them who's really in charge …

But the weather relented the next day, finally allowing the 74th-ers to wing it back to Australia, courtesy of a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17 Globemaster. We wish them a restful and enjoyable 'back to life' transition... although you can be sure the lure of Antarctica will draw a few back in the future.

Jasmin Islam
75th ANARE Casey station