The only transport available on Macquarie Island, other than 'shanks pony', is the IRBs – Inflatable Rubber Boats. The only trouble is that it is very difficult to schedule boat trips – you are entirely dependent on the weather, in particular the wind. We don’t take the boats out if the wind is blowing greater than 25 knots (46 km/hr). If the engine failed with high winds, your next stop would be South America!
Last week we wanted to get several solar panels and other equipment down to the Mt Jeffryes radio repeater. Mt Jeffryes is at the other end of the island – a long way to have to backpack solar panels! It took several attempts to get down there, and finally, on Tuesday, the weather blessed us. Dan and Wayne were dropped at a point where they could carry all the gear up the 400 metres to the mountaintop and then walk back to the station, and the boats headed back to station. The weather was magnificent and the boating party enjoyed some explorations along the coast on their return. They even discovered a dead humpback whale.