It seems a lifetime ago that I was wandering through Casey in the days after the last summering expeditioners left. Empty corridors, a quiet bar, a completely different feel.
But then the 27 wintering expeditioners filled the space and we made it ours. 27 seemed like enough to fill the station, there was always plenty going on and people to fill the bar. We all had our roles and between us could achieve anything. The months flew by with lots of in-jokes and banter. I knew exactly who was walking down the corridor without even getting out of bed in the morning or who to call when something needed fixing.
Then the first flight arrived. We all knew it was coming but, for me at least, I didn’t quite comprehend what it meant. In a short couple of weeks, we were outnumbered 2:1 with fresh faces. A few who had been here the summer before but also lots of new people. More than the new people, was the fresh energy. Everything was new to them, they had just got out of two weeks of hotel quarantine and were ecstatic to be here. The first 24 hours seemed a bit overwhelming to most of the winter expeditioners. They huddled together on their own table at dinner or sipping coffees in the Wallow in the morning.
The energy was contagious though and in no time, it was like we were right back to last summer. The days have been flying by as Casey has become a hive of activity. Weekly flights from Hobart, and between them multiple flights to Davis. Receiving new gear, organising old gear to be returned, finishing up last minute jobs and preparing to hand over to the new crew. Of course, fitting in amongst all that, the last-minute field trips before we finally leave Casey.
- Dr Tadeusz Davenport (2021 Casey winter Expedition Medical Officer).