We arrived at the airport at 3:30 am to check in, at this time there are no other flights checking in so it was very quiet and quick. After checking in we were bussed around to an outbuilding to check out of Australia and go through passport control. Hobart is a domestic airport so this is something that is done specially for the AAD. After that we’re on the plane. It is remarkably similar to any other international flight,
with the addition of a medical bay and an open area in the middle. We had the added attraction of a film crew filming a documentary with Sam Neil (you know, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Jurassic Park, Hunt for the Red October and loads more) although they were separate from us for most of the flight.
The landing at Casey was very smooth and we were soon off onto the ice. We had been told that we would be bussed to Casey as our ongoing flight to Davis was not going, due to what I can only assume was the 80km/h winds they had been having. Considering Wilkins Airstrip is on the ice, we were wondering what ‘bus’ might entail. It turned out to be the Terrabus and we were only it’s second set of passengers!
After a quick stop at the Antarctic circle sign, for obligatory vanity photos, we continued on to Casey and got there just in time for lunch.
We were all keen to carry on to Davis, especially Bernd who will only stay there until 21st December before heading back to Casey to wait for the ship back to Hobart, but were pretty resigned to staying at Casey for a day or so.
Just when we thought we would have a little explore outside we were told not to go far as there was a 70% chance we could fly that day. 15 minutes later we were loaded onto another bus and up to the Skyway, a small runway close to Casey.
Most of the 5 hour trip to Davis roughly followed the coast and flying by Basler at a lower altitude, with a few breaks in the cloud, we had some amazing views. I did try to capture some of these but photos taken close to the wing through scratched windows don’t really do it justice.
At this time of year the plane can still land on sea ice close to the station, then it’s only a short trip in a (bright pink) Hag to the station….seven different forms of transportation and 22 hours later we arrived at Davis Station! A quick station induction, a glass of home brew, some tasty Mexican food and then after being awake for over 26 hours it was time for bed!