Antarctica: Casey Station, Re-Supply 2014

The yearly Casey Re-Supply is the most chaotic and busy time at the Australian Antarctic Program’s Casey Station. We have a week to completely re-stock the station with Fuel, food, parts needed for repairs and to send any scientific research projects back to Australia as well as receiving anything to do with this years projects. It is the only time in the summer season that the crew work 24hrs a day. Everyone is working super hard and doing tasks outside of their usual role on station. I am an electrician and I was driving the big old Mack Truck.

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Survival Training: Antarctica.

The time has come, I am both excited and a little nervous about the next two days. Every expeditioner needs to complete and show their competence in all aspects of survival training. This includes everything from organising your expedition paper work through to plotting your course using maps and compasses.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Survival Training: Casey Station

As our training day approaches we are informed by the Meteorology team that the weather is turning bad and a blizzard is possible. We carry on planning our training day and decide as a group to go a head. I must admit I am a little nervous about spending 24hrs out in this weather, but at the same time I am well aware how much of a unique experience this will be. Everyone down there needs to complete survival training, but so far everyone has had perfect weather.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Survival Training, Antarctica.

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

Survival Training, Antarctica: Feeling The Chill

We have completed all our paper work, collected all our gear and we are ready to head out. We make our very first call in to Casey Communications, explain our intentions and off we head towards Shirley Island. We need to follow the approved walking route which winds its way through a rocky valley. We have a few marked GPS Way points on our maps, which we use to navigate ourselves through this area. I soon realised that this was going to be a challenge. We constantly refer to our maps and compasses, but it so windy. Every time I remove my map from my jacket it almost blows away.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Radioing In

We reach the sea ice and call Casey Communications. To walk on ice we need know how thick it is and the only way to do that is to drill the ice. So we grab our Sea Ice Drill and set it all up. We learn a bit about sea ice, how to tell if it is good ice, how thick it is and how saturated it is. As we finish drilling we are visited by group inquisitive Adelie Penguins. It was incredible, they came right up to us and spent a good 10 minutes just chilling and checking us out, until they get bored and return to their colony.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica.

Adelie Penguins, Shirley Island, Antarctica

As we reach Shirley Island we have another training drill. We set up a survival shelter called a Mega Bivvy. A bivvy is a bag that you can use in a survival situation. They are way to escape from the wind, they are super light and easy to set up even in strong winds. We all jump in the Mega Bivvy and call in to Casey Communications. We watch and listen to the weather getting worse and decide its time to head to our next location, The Wharf. Here we will learn how to use the camp stoves and how to set up our personal bivvy bags and where we’ll be spending the night.

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One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Stand By Me, The Meltdowns: Antarctica.

The Casey Winter Crew of 2013-2014 are about to head back home to Australia, so to send them off with a bang, the new incoming crew assemble a band and quickly put together a show for them. I would like to present to you “The Meltdowns”.

After a superb formal dinner prepared for us by the Casey Chief’s Eddie and Gareth, we were treated to a live performance of a bunch of great songs. Here is Stand By Me sung by Greg.

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NASA Base in Antarctica

Today we are invited out to see a very cool place, somewhere I would never have though that I would see, let alone see in Antarctica. We are invited to visit the NASA base situated on the sea ice out from McMurdo Station.

We arrive at the NASA base and I look around, I can see a few very tall sheds and few make shift “Nissans” these Dome style huts, and the huge Mount Erebus. We are guided inside and given a brief induction to the site. Then we head off in groups for a tour of the facility.

Tattered Passport. Antarctica

Antarctica, NASA Base.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

NASA. Antarctica

I wont pretend to completely understand what these scientist were doing, I will let the video speak for it self. I will just say that in my non scientific understanding these scientist were looking for Neutrinos, which are the most tiny quantity, or particle ever imagined by a human being. They are also looking to figure out what happened in the first seconds after the big bang.

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https://youtu.be/iEX-dhReN24

I hope you enjoy the short film from my visit to NASA. Do you know about Neutrinos or are you a scientist that is looking into the very beginning of our world? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Maybe you could explain it all to me?

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, If you have liked this post Like, Share and Follow. You an follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or simply by clicking the Follow button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.