Winter electrician Wes reflects on his first winter in Antarctica.

Reflections of an expeditioner

This trip south has certainly been an adventure so far and is my second trip to Casey and my first winter in Antarctica.

It may only have been a few months ago but memories of arriving in Hobart, the pre-departure training and the time spent at the Antarctic Division feel like a lifetime ago!

This season, I was lucky enough to come south aboard the resupply ship MPV Everest. Whist this ship doesn’t have the 'charm' of the Aurora Australis, it made up for it with the views from both the bridge and helicopter deck. With the ship arriving at Casey in mid-January, followed by the hustle and bustle of Casey resupply, the summer season just flew by. Before we knew it, we were saying good bye to our summer friends, and we were down to our winter crew of 27.

A question I’m regularly asked is “What do you down there”. The answer is, everything! Whilst my day job is as a station electrician, helping keep the lights on and the buildings warm, we also contribute to the station community. Everybody contributes to the community in different ways, but we all undertake station duties such as 'slushy'. Being on slushy duty requires you to be the chef’s assistant for the day. This is usually a busy day, with a lot of dishes getting washed, food prepping and other housekeeping duties completed. Outside work hours, there is always something happening too, from endless movies in the cinema, to watching sports in the bar, or listening to epic life tales from fellow expos during a 'Casey Tuesday Talk'.

One thing that I make sure I do every day on the walk to workshop is to stop and admire the ever-changing scenery out across Newcomb Bay. With the days getting shorter and the sea ice starting to form, the light and shadows are simply amazing. All of this against a backdrop of epic icebergs - what more could you ask for!

- Wes (Casey winter electrician)