Station update

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This week at Macquarie Island: 17 July 2015

This week there has been more activity occurring off station than on, with several field parties out working down island.

Rich and Duncan headed out on an eight day round trip, with a list of communications related jobs as large as the backpacks that they were carrying. The guys made checks on the VHF repeater sites (inconveniently placed atop hills), inspected equipment at the field huts and installed a new battery charging system at the Davis Point hut. This hut is an ex-MIPEP shelter which has been retained so as to provide a shelter for field parties working on the remote southwest region of the island.

Rangers Andrea and Anna set out on a two week bird monitoring trip, making their way down to the southernmost extent of the island. The rangers were accompanied by Justin for the first few days until he returned solo back to station. Part of the rangers' role on Macca is to monitor the sea bird populations, and on this trip checks were made on the progress of the albatross chicks. Grey petrel burrows were also searched. We look forward to the rangers returning early next week.

Doc Marion and Louise also have been out experiencing the island, taking time to photograph the king penguins at Brothers Point. They returned from their three day trip with many stories of penguin antics.

During the week we received decent amounts of snow which settled at station giving us a dry, white carpet for a few days. When the ground freezes up it is amazing how quickly you can walk about the place without trudging through soft black sand.

Mark, Ben and Jac took advantage of some calm weather to explore the rockpools of Garden Cove immediately behind station. All three of us armed with cameras, we managed a few pretty photos, and avoided all of the fur seals.

The weather has now warmed up a bit and the snow at sea level has all melted. The increase in temperatures has welcomed out the kelp flies, and the mountain of kelp thrown up on the beach in recent weeks is now rotting, permeating throughout the station with a delightful rotten egg smell.

On Tuesday the 14th we celebrated Bastille Day! Marion and Louise baked croissants, which were devoured in the shadow of a scale model Eiffel Tower at smoko! Shouts of “Ooh la la”, mostly from Lou and Maz, and the tones of Edith Piaf resonated through the mess. In the evening Justin prepared a delicious french themed dinner complete with crème brulee.

Louise standing in front of the power generator at Brothers Point hut
Louise at Brothers Point hut
(Photo: Marion Davies)
View of king penguins from inside Sandy Bay hut
Sandy Bay hut
(Photo: Marion Davies)
Louise and Marion in front of oven filled with unbaked croissants
Louise and Marion with croissants ready for baking
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
The mess kitchen with smoko in bain marie and Eiffel Tower statue in foreground
Smoko in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower
(Photo: Marion Davies)
Louise looking through bain marie over freshly baked croissants
The finished croissants
(Photo: Marion Davies)
Reflections in a still pond
The duck pond at Eagle Cave
(Photo: Jacque Comery)
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