Sean Williams

The (ongoing) Adventures of AntarcticaSean Part Six: Aurora #2

posted on 22 Nov 2017 at 2:55 am

Continuing from Part Five: Aftermath.

My Antarctica adventures didn’t end on coming home. There’s been a flurry of events, articles, and ongoing research that all started with Casey and will end up somehow in the book. Probably. I’m still working on that.

Firstly, let me honour a gift given to me by Ferret before I left Casey. I misplaced it somehow in my luggage, and was super-excited to see it surface a few weeks later. The patch celebrates seventy Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions. The guitar picks do the same. These are very special souvenirs of my time down there, and I plan not to lose them again!

One thing I missed out on my voyage to Casey was the trip by sea. Flying was special, but there’s something about the prospect of throwing up for a week and bumping into icebergs that really appeals. I was excited to be able to tour the Aurora Australis when I was in Hobart recently, in order to get a taste of the experience before it’s decommissioned. Thanks to Sachie at AAD for organising it.

Here are some photos of the giant orange beast.




And here’s a video of me standing in front of it.

I was very pleased to meet this year’s Arts Fellow on the tour, but as it’s not been announced yet, I’d better not let any names slip!

Click for info

People are very interested in Anatarctica – no surprises there. As well as “Antarctica: Past, Present and Future”, a chat at RiAus with paleontologist John Long and director of the Royal Institution Paul Willis, and a guest of honour presentation at SwanCon in Perth, I’ve given several talks about my trip to Casey, with more to come, including GenreCon in Brisbane and a talk organised by Mitcham Library Services here in Adelaide. I was also interviewed by Yvette Aubusson-Foley at WestWordsFest2017 – you can watch a full video with images from that link.

And while in Dubbo, I visited a street named after one of the greatest Antarctic heroes. As one does.

I’ve also published numerous articles and one short piece of fiction. Here are links galore!

“The Winter Gardener” – brand new flash fiction directly inspired by Casey
“Impressions of Casey Wildlife”
“An Arts Fellow’s Eye on Antarctica”
“Reflections on Returning from Antarctica”
“An Alien Landscape”
“In Antarctica”
“Mawson and the Martian: What if…”

I’ll update this list as more roll in.

That’s it for now. I’m still researching the book, but I can feel it beginning to take solid shape. My plan is to beginning writing before the end of the year. I’m going to be living in Dublin all through 2018, and one of my plans is to go North to see ice and aurorae at the other end of the world. That’s bound to be inspiring!


November 23 – the postcard I wrote at Wilkes station and mailed home from Casey station finally arrived! I addressed it incorrectly, hence the delay. Oops.


For other blog posts about Antarctica, click here.

More photos here.

“Continued” in Part Zero: Applying