As we count down to home time and the onset of the summer season in Antarctica, the time is slipping away rapidly in frantic activity of station deep cleans, conclusion of the winter’s Red Shed project, packing and consignment of personal effects, last field trips out to the huts, and preparation of handover schedules and documents for the incoming team.
We also found the time for a 24-hour fitness challenge which was to raise money for Camp Quality. To us, it’s also a celebration of Scotty 2 Dogs’ magnificent efforts over winter to get fit and lose an extraordinary amount of weight. He may be reticent to mention it in his story below but, from us all… Good Job! (Although those who had the sessions in the middle of the night were cursing 2 Dogs through every 2:00am step on the treadmill!)
Not long off the treadmill and the conclusion of the 24-hour challenge, we were dressing into 1950s stylish fashions to take part in a Murder Mystery Dinner. It was ‘all aboard for Murder on the Orient Express. A disparate group of individuals with a few spies thrown in — a murder is committed, a scavenger hunt for clues, some incisive interviews from the famous (?) detective, Herpetia Perdot, some random guesses as to who the murderer might be (none successful), and then the outcome revealed in a dramatic announcement. All in all, a great night, and probably our last chance to get into fancy dress before we head home.
So, for those who might have been worried after last week’s Icy News, I’m happy to report that our psych debriefs all went well and we’ve been given the clearance to return to Australia.
Just three weeks from today and we’ll be touching down in Hobart. Ready to see green trees and colourful flowers, feel the rain or a warm breeze on our faces, eat fresh fruit and vegies… and to return to the love of our friends and family.
But in turn, that means only three weeks and we will no longer look out across Newcombe Bay at the icebergs; drive down the A-Line in a Hägglunds and see the Casey station Lego village nestled comfortably amongst the rocky hills below; hear the gentle hum of the Main Power House or the distant squawking of the penguins as the soundtrack to our life here; taste the 2 Dogs home brew (and not have to pay for it); have our three meals a day supplied without fail by our personal chef; or be forced to wear some fancy dress costume by the station leader AKA station party planner.
Our Casey family will soon disperse to the ends of the earth in pursuit of work and recreation. We’ve come together from all walks of life, and despite our differences we’ve lived and worked harmoniously for 12 months, bought together by this incredible experience which will live on in our memories long after we’ve returned to the warmth and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Live long and prosper the 71st ANARE.
Rebecca (Casey SL)