This week at Macquarie Island: 7 April 2017

This week at Macca, we upgraded the gym, celebrated our first week on station with a formal dinner, and our Albatross Research Team headed into the field for their first banding activities of the season.

News from Macca

Aside from breathtaking field travel across this wondrous island, one of the other popular recreational pursuits on Macca is gym training. On Saturday, our Building Services Supervisor Dave and Meteorology Technician Emry set about upgrading our gym. Thanks to their hard work, we now have a deluxe new floor, a brand new squat rack, an assortment of new Olympic lifting bars and dumbbells, and a new cardio piece called a SkiErg (simulates cross-country skiing). Everyone is really thrilled with the upgraded space; there is a lot of cursing by all post-SkiErg workout!

Saturday also marked the end of our first official week on station. We celebrated this milestone with our first ‘formal’ Saturday night dinner. Tables were decked out with our best tablecloths, finest cutlery, and candles, with our brilliant Chef Nick Baker treating us to a delicious three-course meal of smoked salmon pate, followed by a main course of sous-vide chicken breast, and a delicious dessert of lemon tart with cheesecake.

Speaking of Chef Nick, he has one of the busiest jobs on station. He prepares a never-ending variety of daily lunch and dinner meals, catering for all manner of food preferences, as well as delivering gourmet catering for our official functions and special occasions, including special request birthday cakes. However, when Nick gets a day off to rest, it’s an Antarctic tradition that one of us will take on Chef duties for that day. Known as the ‘cooking slushy’ role, this week our Meteorology Observer/Forecaster Kerri became the first of the new team to take on the gig. Kerri certainly excelled, treating us to a hearty warming soup for lunch, followed by a special treat for dinner of ‘Kerri’s Mum’s Easy Meatloaf Recipe’. Needless to say it was delicious and Kerri has set a high bar for all future cooking slushies!

Another great highlight this week was commencement of our albatross and giant petrel research program. Emily and Mel (Research Assistants), along with Andrea and Penny (Tas Parks Rangers), spent several productive days in the field undertaking important banding of light mantled sooty albatross. Whilst the Macca terrain makes for challenging work, it also makes for big smiles and spectacular scenery as their photos attest!

Kyle Williams
Station Leader, 70th ANARE Macquarie Island

A trio of expeditioners sit smiling on the slope amidst tussocks of grass
All smiles - Andrea, Penny and Mel on the Macca slopes during…
Three expeditioners on a steep slope overlooking the ocean
Gadget Gully slopes
A room with new gym equipment and flooring
The new gym on station
(Photo: K. Williams)
Gym room with a wide array of equipment
The upgraded gym
(Photo: K. Williams)
A group of people eating a dinner around a large table
Saturday night fine dining
(Photo: J. Wallace)