From the crew here at Casey, a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there, but especially to our Mums!
This week at Casey: 12 May 2017
Happy Mother’s Day
A busy week here at Casey.
The Browning repeater has been retrieved for some upgrading by the comms team, the infrastructure team has completed the commissioning of the balloon building upgrades, and Watto has the incinerator up and running again after an overhaul and clean up by Brendan and Simo.
The aviation and mechanical services team are running plant and equipment back and forth from Wilkins and are making great progress through their winter servicing program.
Mark and the BoM team are getting ready to reinstate their hydrogen generating equipment into the balloon building, and continue to be busy interpreting the dynamic Casey weather patterns for us all.
Steve, Simo and Adam all embraced their inner chef this week creating some delicious meals for us all.
Our station mechanical supervisor Mick celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday night, sharing an outstandingly delicious chocolate cake prepared by chef Andrew.
The sea ice is slowly rebuilding after blowing out of Newcomb Bay for a second time following the blizzard last week. Fortuitously though, the ice did hold on in a number of our sea ice access sites close to station, and so the 2017 Sea Ice Team set out on Wednesday to undertake some preliminary measurement of the sea ice depth, to determine if it is safe to consider over ice travel.
Mat, Stu, Elise and Jac drilled the Shirley Island crossing, and happily measured an ice depth of just over 1 metre thick. An all station completion to guess the depth of the ice was held, which was won by the station leader, after Zac regrettably changed his guess a mere two minutes prior to the result being announced. The prize was donated to be shared with station.
A week of light wind and snowfall with low temperatures has blanketed Casey with a lovely covering of snow. The ski trail is looking amazing and has been enjoyed by a few keen skiiers.
No doubt we will wind down this weekend with some well earned rest, igloo building, and some group yoga!
5 minutes with the Casey 70th ANARE crew: Simon Jodrell
Name: Simon Jodrell
From: Perth, WA
Previous seasons? At Davis 2015/16 summer
Job title: Instrumentation Electrician
Describe your role in two sentences:
I work with a small team of tradies, who are overqualified, dedicated, incredibly competent people, to take square pegs and round holes and make it precisely fit — essentially we improvise, adapt, and overcome with incredible ingenuity daily.
Sometimes we make sure all the power stays on, the heating works, beer stays cold, make small improvements to the station or work towards making major projects come together.
What did you do before your joined the AAD?
Before starting to work in Antarctica, I was in the WA mining industry, working on iron ore processing plants.
What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey?
After completing your trade, most of your job becomes about doing the work you know better, faster, bigger or smaller. So my favourite part of this job, is thinking outside the box, managing the extremes, and working outside my comfort zone — both in the cold, and the parts of my job I wouldn’t normally be exposed to so much.
If you were not an electrician, what would be your dream job?
Professional (highly paid) travelling adventurist – being paid to do all the things on everyone’s bucket lists all over the world.
Or a sailor, I’d have a crack at being a yachtsman…
How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south?
Last season I was a summerer, there were lots of similarities between the two seasons, like meeting people that make an incredible impression on your life, enjoying huts, just being in Antarctica is pretty special.
The stations are so different, and being a winterer the responsibilities are far greater this year, and so evolve and enhance your experience. Seeing the sea ice roll in, and the dumps of snow that don’t melt, living with 21 other people on a continent with only 700ish other people over winter.
Work wise, I’m here to install the new waste treatment plant which I installed last year at Davis.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
It’s incredible down south, the way time vanishes before your eyes. I’ve never had so much free time, yet I struggle to call home, catch up with my incredible friends, or pay the odd bill online.
Saying that I’m doing the theory component of my helicopter licence, enjoy getting out to the huts, watching movies in the spa, a quiet beer at the bar, Sunday arvo cheese platters and music DVD’s, or building my LEGO truck that I bought during summer on eBay, took a fair bit of my time in summer (many thanks to AAD shipping for getting it all to me).
What song sums up your Casey experience so far?
Sweet Nothing — originally by Florence and the Machine, but I like the version covered by ‘Something for Kate’ for Triple J’s like a version. I really like this acoustic version and we played this song to death over summer.
What actor would play you in a film version of our 70th ANARE season here at Casey?
I think a few people would suggest one of the three stooges, yet I’m not silly enough to suggest a Brad Pitt looking character. I’d be happy if an Aussie, say John Jarett was keen, or even the caddy from ‘Happy Gilmore’ wanted to give it a crack.
What is your favourite hut for field trips and why?
Each hut has its pros and cons — distance, size, landscape, history to name a few. However, Robbo’s Hut is my favourite. I’ve been to all of them at Casey, but I love that you can quad bike there, sit on the deck, watch the wildlife with a cheese platter and nice drink. Inside it’s big enough for six, but small enough you can get warm quickly!
Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?
I love my Carhartt Jacket, I wear it all day to work, around station on weekends and out in the field on most jollies. They are designed in America for outdoor work, super comfy, take an absolute beating, and keep out the wind chill. They’ve been used in Antarctica for years, but the brand is just getting trendy now in the ‘real world’.
What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why?
This year, I have been fortunate enough to read two incredible books amongst the many.
A really incredible friend of mine, gave me a book called ‘I am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes. I was reading it every day at smoko and lunch, it took me ages but I was devastated to finish it. The boys kept getting into me for taking so long to finish it, but it really dragged me in and I was sorry it was over.
The other book, ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ by Chris Hadfield. I was lent it by a mate on station. An incredible autobiography, about humility, preparedness, self-awareness and life.
What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite?
Normally I play Triple J, alternative style, withhold classics, and terrible 90’s hits. I really enjoy hearing other people’s collections, at times there’s a lot of repetition and rubbish played during slushy sometimes, but other times there’s a wicked playlist.
Describe your Casey experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.
Sight: Sitting at Browning’s hut, looking out to the spindrift rolling off the Vanderford Glacier, and vast space, enormity and serenity.
Smell; there is such an absence of smell down here that the wafting of a lamb roast, especially after a cold day outside, is really nice — it’s like coming home to mums cooking.
Feeling: More often than not we walk around looking at the snow so that we don’t fall over, but when you walk outside and look out to see the incredible scenery and realise we take it for granted, when people would pay good money for this experience. I like that feeling, pausing to remember how awesome this place is.
Sound: When you’re out at the huts and the wind stops, there is no sound, it really is incredible, then you can hear the cracking/creeking of the glaciers.
I also loved the loud crash when the ice cliff face carves and fall into the ocean.
Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?
'The harder you work, the luckier you get’ — Gary Player