It has been an eventful week at Casey station that has seen the Wilkins Aerodrome team join us for the winter season ahead, making us a total of 30 expeditioners, the largest the AAD has had for a winter season.
We celebrated the Easter period with a sumptuous feast prepared by our talented chef Justin and his very able team of assistants, with some very artistic origami Easter bunnies decorating our table, thanks to Sharon. The Easter Bunny made an unexpected visit down south delivering some much enjoyed chocolate eggs to all.
Expeditioners also took the opportunity to explore some local sites and to enjoy some time off station.
There was an overnight trip to the Wilkes “Hilton”. This was originally a US station but has been under the control of ANARE since 1961, and was closed down in 1969 once the new station at Casey was developed. Visiting the hut and the station is like taking a step back in time, most of the station is now permanently frozen in ice with remnants of buildings poking out through the snow and ice. There was some enthusiastic shovelling to clear the door of an impressive snow accumulation followed by some delicious woodfired pizzas and damper which made it all worthwhile.
A four person sledding crew left Casey and headed out the A-line and along the Loken Moraines to Jack’s Donga, named after Jack Field, a seasoned expeditioner who, between the 50’s and 70’s, was responsible for organising an abandoned D4 cabin to be used as a hut. This still remains today as the best “loo with a view”. Our sledding group enjoyed the new and improved hut accommodation. Many inches of fresh, dry powdery snow made the home journey challenging but very satisfying. One can’t help but think of the backbreaking man-hauling the early Antarctic explorers endured and of course the contributions of the sled dog teams and ponies.
An enjoyable day of walking was had by those who ventured onto the rocky Mitchell Peninsula that’s situated between O’Briens and Sparkes Bay, a short Hägg trip from Casey station.
Our days are getting shorter and the weather getting colder as the 75th ANARE enthusiastically embrace the winter ahead. On a clear morning we can still enjoy some amazing sunrises as the photograph shows.
-Deirdre McCormack (Dee) - Station Doctor