Last Friday night on station we collectively celebrated the birthdays of five of the Macca crew who all shared August birthdays. Justin laid the ground work for a 'Hawaiian Murder Mystery Luau' at the 'Sunset Beach Resort' (a.k.a. the Macca mess). With the pig on the spit in the green store by mid-morning, we all received our first clue envelope, with background information about our characters, and some other guests that we had to ‘contact’. The luau kicked off after work, amidst a sea of Hawaiian shirts and lays! Throughout the night we received more and more clues, until Nick, or should we say 'Jack Marrow' fell victim to a rampaging ‘killer’ (and a tube of zinc cream) shortly after dinner. Much high drama, incredible (!) acting, and numerous accusations worthy of a Law and Order episode ensued, until Mark, 'Harry Spotter', was ousted as the killer. Hats off to Dan who actually assembled an A3 page of notes throughout the evening in a quest to introduce deduction and logic to the whole affair.
We shared a Macquarie Island cake prepared by Justin, complete with a model likeness of each of the birthday gents and ladies, moulded by fellow expeditioners in icing and placed on the cake where each of them spent their birthday.
Rich and Andrea missed the party as they were down island, Rich was on a round trip to maintain communications gear and antennae at Green Gorge, Waterfall Bay, Davis Point and Mt Waite, and Andrea was finishing off a number of Tas Parks jobs prior to returning to station. Jacque headed to Bauer Bay to do the monthly marine debris survey on Saturday, and rendezvoused with Andrea and Rich on Sunday night, returning to station the next morning.
Sparky Mark was also in the field this week, joined by Andrea after she left Bauer Bay, trouble shooting our hut RAPS (remote area power supply) units that have been temperamental lately.
Lionel spotted a mystery whale in garden cove on Saturday, and over the weekend the skuas have returned to the island. The big 'beachmaster' male elephant seals are claiming territory on the beach now ahead of the arrival of the females in the next few weeks. There is a competition on station to guess the date of the arrival of the first elephant seal pup of 2015. Standby for an update in next week's news.
Plans to launch the boats for the first time this season were in full swing this week. Wednesday looked like it would present us a window within our operating parameters. A keen group assembled at the mess early on Wednesday morning, to find winds higher than expected, already blowing over 20 knots. Sigh! Postponed again.