This week at Macquarie Island: 23 November 2018

This week at Macca we bid farewell to some and train others in using the IRBs

Fond farewells

Yes, things certainly do get busier here in the summer months.

First we had the L’Astrolabe arrive as VRO and with it new personnel for the summer. This week, we saw the Spirit of Enderby venture into Buckles Bay and with it a lovely group of people to visit us and experience our little island.

As we had all known for some time, the Spirit's arrival meant that our station population was to diminish a tad. Andy, Matty, Robyn and Adrian’s visit for a week was at an end and they were to return on the ‘Spirit’, but added to this two of our very own wintering expeditioners were to call last drinks for this season at Macca and head home via a short sub-Antarctic cruise back to Dunedin and then onto Hobart. We bid a fond farewell to Rich and Jez as they head home safely, leaving us all with fond memories of the year we’ve had together.

No longer will we be able to enjoy the quiet unassuming nature of Rich, whether his guidance in the field FTO style or e-conning that crate SSO style, his absence of presence on station is noted.

The same goes for Jez, our PhD student who was undertaking his thesis on burrowing petrels. Our Mr Bird studying birds  - guffaw! Jez added some good old-fashioned British refinement to our Saturday evening dinners with tales of great deeds and heroic adventures, along with his good-natured presence all year round.

So to both Rich and Jez, safe travels, thanks for the fun times, and we’ll catch you both for a spot of Pimm’s on the flybridge.

Bidding farewell to the winterers leaving the island - hugs on the beach before the zodiac takes them to the waiting ship
Last hugs before the zodiac departs the shore
(Photo: Tim Kerr)
The cruise ship Spirit of Enderby in Buckles Bay
Spirit of Enderby in Buckles Bay
(Photo: Tim Kerr)
The zodiac leaving the shore with Rich & Jez plus the Modernisation team
Farewell Rich & Jez
(Photo: Tim Kerr)
The zodiac with luggage on board and people about to board
All aboard those leaving the island
(Photo: Tim Kerr)
a man climbs a hill
Jez the Bird man
(Photo: Rich Youd)
Rich our Senior Field Training Officer where he likes to be - down island in the rain
Rich the happy wanderer
(Photo: Rich Youd)

Boating around

This week the weather has been fantastic, so we seized the day and gave our new team members a boating induction so that they were ready to hit the water with us. 

The boating induction familiarises the team with the boats, equipment, safety and the standard operating procedures. First we had a thorough introduction to the boats on dry land and then loaded them up and got out on the water in order to resupply Brother’s Point hut during this rare weather window. 

The trip down to Brother’s Point was calm and sunny, so it was a great first voyage for our recently returned Ranger Luke, who is one of the Coxswains, and our new FTO Stu, who has taken over as the Boating Officer from Rich. 

On return we then spent the afternoon practising beach landings, trailer launches and retrievals and familiarisation out on the water with our other new team members, Wildlife Ranger Annie and Station Supply Officer Tommy.

Now that the whole team is inducted into watercraft operations, we're planning to make the most of the fine weather and get back out on the water again in the next few days, as there are still more hut resupplies to be done and other boating operations (which have been waiting a loooong time for good boating weather!!)

Stu and Angus steady the boat as Chris starts the motor and Cathryn keeps an eye out for kelp
Stu and Angus steady the boat as Chris starts the motor and…
(Photo: Danielle McCarthy)
Down at Brothers Point some local king penguins were quite interested in the outboard motor
Down at Brothers Point some local king penguins were quite interested in…
(Photo: Danielle McCarthy)
Stu, Cathryn, Angus and Chris dragging the boat around to launch from Brothers Point
Stu, Cathryn, Angus and Chris dragging the boat around to launch from…
(Photo: Danielle McCarthy)
Tommy makes fast the bowline as Danielle drives the boat onto the trailer during a recent training exercise
Tommy makes fast the bowline as Danielle drives the boat onto the…
(Photo: Ali Dean)
Annie and Chris launch the boat into deeper water as Luke starts the outboard
Annie and Chris launch the boat into deeper water as Luke starts…
(Photo: Ali Dean)
Chris climbs into the boat with Luke and Cathryn after launching it from the beach as Danielle, Stu and Tommy pass in the other boat
Chris climbs into the boat with Luke and Cathryn after launching it…
(Photo: Ali Dean)