The station in winter continues along in its usual routine; working hard through the week with big efforts to get the winter works list ticked off, then taking the time on the weekend to get out and about; to huts, to Mitchell Peninsula, Reeve Hill or the Wharf to try and get the great sunrise/sunset photos, or just down to the workshop to learn some new skills.
It’s been truly cold this week, hitting the −30°C mark and hovering around −26°C for a few days now… then we add the wind chill. These temperatures are really cold (understatement?) and any bare skin feels the effects almost immediately. The big doona jackets have made an appearance on most for the past few days. How is it that the body acclimatises so quickly? This morning it’s back to the more usual −15°C and it feels almost tropical, back to the light weight coat and questioning whether it’s really necessary to wear gloves between buildings. How are we going to handle it when most of us return in late October to the heat of an Australian summer? Hopefully we acclimatise just as quickly to the heat… or can escape to winter somewhere in the world.
Speaking of which, this week we hit the ‘four months to go’ mark for a majority of those on station. This has caused a little moment of panic for some (but maybe not enough panic for many).
Such a short amount of time to get everything done! Especially when we know that in September the Wilkins team will be busy getting the runway ready, the project team will be finishing off what they can of the Red Shed refurbishment, and many will be undertaking two traverse operations to Law Dome and Cape Poinsette. Then October will be getting the station ready for the incoming team, then handover, then a quick flight home and it’ll all be over (for now). Just today I received an email from an expeditioner who’s been down south many times and he signed off with: ”Make sure you get out and see the place, before you know the end will be just there, it creeps up very quickly!” Never a truer word was written.
Now to start that bucket list.
Rebecca, Casey Station Leader