An appetising April snapshot from our Winter Doctor

April Appetiser

The sun has set over Casey Station as I sit in the clinic reflecting on the weeks passing by and waiting for the dinner bell to go. Maybe even salivating a little as I look forward to the foodie heaven that awaits me most nights in the mess – but I’ll save that essay for another day.

They say people often become similar in appearance to their pets. I wonder could this be happening here between our expeditioners and the wildlife surrounding Casey Station? I noticed as the adelie penguins (pygoscelis adeliae) went through their noisy, irritated moulting so too did many of our team. The Saturday morning haircuts became more boisterous and entertaining. Our fearless Station Leader may or may not have set the scene earlier in the season… He certainly rivalled any adelie penguin mohawk with his Elizabethan styling and provided much laughter all round. A wise expeditioner once told me ‘if you want to add a smile to your day go hang out with a penguin’. I would happily add ‘go cheer on Jacks laundry haircuts’ for a good dose of laughter. Sadly, our adelie friends have mostly departed following the pack ice zone but I still get my daily smile from the fabulous range of expeditioner haircuts. I look forward to October when the Adelies return to our nearby coastline and the antics continue.

The beautiful weddell seal (leptonychotes weddellii) won’t desert us over winter. I am sure many a previous PMU doctor could wax lyrical about the dental similarities in the dead of an Antarctic winter between the weddell seals incredible ice cutting teeth and the expeditioners pearly whites. The weddell seal ingeniously uses its powerful teeth to keep breathing holes open in the pack ice to survive over winter and eventually their teeth get worn away. Thankfully the marvels of modern dentistry should have resolved this issue with our resourceful expeditioners (I shall wait and see). Unfortunately, I am not so sure the expanding waistline comparison is resolved as I fight my way through a superb dinner ending in a mouth-watering cheesecake and reflect on the 400-500kg mass of the gorgeous chilled out weddell seal.

No photographic evidence of these comparisons are forthcoming.

Happy days ahead for team Casey.

Soph Plowman Winter Doc.