It’s one month since the summer expos left us to our own devices for the winter. We mark the passing of time with long weekends (just love March), social occasions, and of course landmark events in the Red Shed refurbishment. See Nick’s report below for an explanation of the thinking behind the project and a summary of the progress to date.
Since our last update we’ve kept busy with more (and more) Search and Rescue training (a huge job to get everyone to the required level so we can feel safe and sound for the winter), lots of infrastructure work (fixin’ stuff and Red Shed refurb), and some great recreational activities — one last visit to Browning Peninsula this past weekend for some who hadn’t made it there yet (to see the elephant seals before they leave us for the winter); overnight visits to Jack’s Donga and to Wilkes, and a quick ski trip to Wilkes on Easter Monday to give a few some relief from cabin fever. An ungroomed rough track made it an interesting ski.
Easter celebrations culminated with the Casey Bunny Bar-Hop, a walking tour of the sites of Casey with themed beverages, music, outfits and activities. A great night, made even better by the full Easter moon. It rose brightly above the ice plateau’s horizon as the tour commenced with the evening’s weather balloon release, which was perfectly timed with sunset. A fabulous Antarctic moment.
Since the last edition of icy news, we have had the summer equinox. Now our nights are longer than our days. The rapid change is really noticeable as the time between sunrise and sunset shortens by about 8 or 9 minutes a day this far south; a visible reminder of the winter well and truly on its way (not to mention the drop in temperature). On a positive note, as we look towards ANZAC Day and the dawn service our dawn will be at 0837 hours, so quite respectable really.
The penguins must be feeling the onset of winter too; there has been a remarkable absence of our little black and white friends around station lately. With their moulting complete, they have left us (even despite the kind offer of a bathtub and cans of sardines to sustain them here with us through the winter).
Rebecca (Casey Station Leader)