This morning, I was woken up by the familiar crunching sounds as we nudged our way through the pack ice off Davis Station. After five days on the continent, I’m back on the Aurora and heading towards Casey Station. Amid last-minute packing and interviews, an at-times teary ceremony was held for the outgoing winterers, and thestation was formally handed over to the ‘new crew’. I tried to imagine what it would be like to leave a place that you have called home for the past year, knowing that you’ll probably never see it again.
This afternoon, a group of Arctic terns swept over the bow and away into the fog that now blankets
the ship. Icebergs, storeys high, suddenly came in and out of view,and penguin tracks on the ice floes
added to the mysterious feeling.
Casey is situated in an area of the low rocky Windmill Islands and peninsulas. With more than more than 50 islands in the group, the Windmill Islands are home to tens of thousands of birds, including Adelie penguins, giant petrels, skuas and snow petrels. I can’t wait!
I am travelling on Voyage 2. You can find information about other Australian Antarctic voyages for the current season here.