This week the gorgeous weather continued for us into Saturday before an abrupt change with a 24 hour blizzard over Sunday. So with that, a planned weekend away was amended to a day trip on the quad bikes out onto the sea-ice and around the Mitchell Peninsula. Despite the cold temperatures, a fantastic afternoon was had (as evidenced by the spectacular photos) with beautiful smooth sea-ice, blue skies, magnificent ice cliffs, and evidence of Weddell seals with air holes through the tide gaps… but no actual sightings.
Saturday night saw most of the team sitting down to a delicious slushy cooked dinner of Chili-con-carne while watching the first Bledisloe Cup match. The rivalry is well and truly alive on station with two perhaps three (depending on how they feel on the day) New Zealanders on station. Let’s just say that Allan, our most vocal All Blacks supporter, was very happy with the results and used his position as our flag officer to celebrate on Sunday (luckily the blizzard meant the offending flags had to be taken down quite promptly!). Now we all hope for the Wallabies to restore our national glory this Saturday…
And so, the time has come, the Casey family has broken up.
In a precursor to most of us departing in two months’ time, twenty-six are now twenty-two. Misty, Sam, Luke and Greg, the Wilkins team, have departed station and returned up the hill (70km away, or a 3hr drive) to start building Wilkins Aerodrome. Our comfortable little existence around station has been disturbed. No longer will we look out of the red shed windows of a morning and see them industriously clearing snow or easily manipulating shipping containers into position, the workshop will no longer be subjected to Sam’s country music (although we will play “Red Solo Cup” in his memory), the sound of Luke or Greg’s guitar music will no longer drift from the bar, Greg’s mop of hair won’t be seen over the back of the lounge seats on a weekend as he sits watching the footy, Misty’s skill with a fancy dress outfit and her plates piled high with only meat will be remembered with fondness, and Luke’s outrageously entertaining stories will missed. The seats at either end of the family dining table will stand empty waiting for their return.
We shall still see the Wilkins team occasionally, when they visit station to rest up, resupply, and use the internet. But like children leaving for university or heading to the big city for their first job, they’ll return for short visits but never for good, it’s the beginning of the end.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Rebecca (Casey SL)