11 January 2008

Friday night dinner on January 4th saw a revival of 'Can't Cook Vs Iron Chef' competition. Teams were allowed to choose disguised bowls of food and then grouped together to create food masterpieces!

Sean, Al and Steve went up against Nat, Eve and Mark in Round One and Chris, Spanna and Doug went up against Ali, Lionel and Gunny in Round Two. Superb food was created by all, with full tummies all round!

Food ranged from spicy vegetables on rice, spaghetti bolognaise, vegetarian and meaty pasta and finally, marshmallow and raspberry cake (of which the latter was the winner!). A great idea thought of by Michelle and Greg – nice one!

Expeditioners with food created as part of cooking competition
Lionel, Ali & Gunny
Expeditioners with food created as part of a cooking competition
Spann, Doug & Chris

Expeditioners with food created as part of cooking competition
Nat, Mark & Eve
Expeditioners with food created as part of cooking competition
Sean, Stevo & Al

Tourist boats have been arriving thick and fast, the first of which was the Orion followed shortly by the Spirit of Enderby. Tourist passengers enjoyed the company of AAD volunteers from the station as well as the benefits of our post-mistress Michelle, who sold postcards and stamps, CDs, bookmarks and caps (of which all proceeds go towards Camp Quality at the end of the season).

TASPAWS Staff were also on hand to provide answers to wildlife questions as well as generally mix with the crowd. Staff and crew from the Orion and Enderby were also around to lend a hand!

Macquarie Island 'Postmistress' with tourists from visiting ship
Post Mistress
Tourist ship 'Orion' at anchor off Macquarie Island
Tourists arriving at Macquarie Island by IRB

Expeditioners talking with tourists amongst the Royal penguins at Sandy Bay
Greg & Spanna talking with tourists amongst the Royals Sandy Bay
Visitors from tourist ship Spirit of Enderby on beach on Macquarie Island
Rodney & Julia (Spirit of Enderby)
Expeditioner with tourists from visiting ship
Sean and his Russian friends

Macquarie Island Rangers resting on beach
Rangers hard at work!
Expeditioner releasing weather balloon
Balloon release

Wildlife Ranger, Al, and Summer Ranger, Spanna, continue to monitor burrow-nesting birds, including the site above Rockhopper Cave at the tip of North Head. These burrows currently nest sooty shearwaters and blue petrels, which can often share the same burrow.

Grey petrels will be monitored for breeding success later on in the season, heading into winter, and at sites along the western side of North Head (amongst others). During this trip tracks along North Head were checked, including the one down to Secluded Bay (where Antarctic and Sub-antarctic fur seals are currently breeding).

Macquarie Island Ranger during Sooty Shearwater Monitoring Data Collection
SS Monitoring Data Collection by Spanna
Macquarie Island Ranger checking Sooty Shearwater burrow
Al checking Sooty Shearwater burrow
Macquarie Island Ranger assessing track to Secluded Bay
Spanna assessing the track

AAD staff continue to busy themselves in preparation for resupply, which is scheduled for March 2008, as well as some general tidying around the place. This included cleaning of the operation theatre, reorganising of timber around the store to make way for repair work, conducting annual test and tagging of all equipment and appliances, and general repacking and moving of gas cylinders and other caged material.

This is in preparation to have equipment ready to send out to the resupply vessel and to offload new materials for the next season of expeditioners.

Expeditioner cleaning out the operating theatre
Eve cleaning out the operation theatre
Expeditioner cleaning up timber in the main store
Steve cleaning up the main store

Expeditioner conducting annual testing and tagging of appliances
Greg working on testing and tagging appliances
Expeditioner using machinery to move cages around in preparation for resupply
Doug moving cages around in preparation for resupply