Wilkins Aerodrome Manager Steve gives some insight into how expeditioners fill the gaps of time over a long winter...

Casey's Millennium Falcon 2021

Not so long ago on a continent far, far, away…

Building a Lego model was inspired by a friend who always takes a Lego kit south as a project to do during the colder, shorter days of winter. When I was offered a winter at Casey, I took his lead and decided to buy the Lego Millennium Falcon (75192). It was large and would take some time to complete, plus I’m a bit of a Star Wars tragic. When I started the build it was a bit of a daunting task (with 7541 pieces), but thankfully the detail of the instructions was considerable. So considerable in fact that they nearly broke my toe when they fell out of the box!

As a kid I had a large amount of Lego and it was great to revisit those memories nearly 45 years later, and it is still just as enjoyable as it was then. I didn’t count the hours, but this has filled the gaps over the last 2 months and I expect pulling it apart may take just as long? To add to the finished product, I also purchased an aftermarket lighting kit. This added a nice touch with internal and external illumination and effects.

Filling the gaps is a common theme over the winter months in Antarctica when circadian rhythms can result in lethargy and boredom. Many take advantage of the time to undertake studies, read, catch up on work or projects from home. Or they get into the workshops to make things either for themselves, or as gifts for others, particularly as we approach midwinters when it’s traditional to give one another a gift to celebrate. Some bring their real-world hobbies with them, such as our resident amateur radio enthusiast, Sharky, who can often be found on the weekends chatting to people around the globe (literally around the globe) on his HF radio.

Of course, time is also spent doing things together with the rest of the community, whether that be a quiz night or event, watching a movie or series each week, playing a board game or undertaking a jigsaw puzzle. Casey has had an ongoing puzzle set up in the upstairs wallow (common area) that has attracted many passers-by who stop and spend a few minutes, or a few hours adding to the emerging image. This one will be number twelve since we arrived.

- Steve W (Wilkins Aerodrome Manager - Winter 2021).