This week at Macquarie Island: 18 January 2019

Even on the Green Sponge water is sometimes hard to find....

Water, the source of life

On Macca, summer has sneaked up on us. November was one of the driest months on record. Normally steady flows in some of the island streams are now dry beds.

Our own water supply in Gadgets Gully is still running but at a trickle, so we are currently walking up to the dam to turn off the outlet which allows the dam to refill after station water tanks are full.

Being the plumber I’m a bit nervous at the moment, but rain is meant to be coming. As is Christmas.

An overview of the water supply at the field huts:

* Bauer Bay hut has a soak hole in the ground above the hut, to catch water which is then gravity-fed to a tank on the roof that supplies water to a sink tap.

* Brothers Point hut catches rain water from square tubing around the outside of the hut which then runs to an outside tank. Water is then drawn at the sink via a suction sink tap – there is also a stream nearby as back-up.

* Green Gorge hut catches water off the roof which is then stored in an outside tank that is gravity-fed to a sink tap - there is also a stream nearby as backup.

* Hurd Point hut catches water off the roof that is then stored in outside tanks which gravity-feed a sink tap. There is also a stream nearby where a poly-pipe uphill can deliver water to the hut to fill up outside tanks.

*Waterfall Bay hut catches rain water via square tubing on the outside which then runs to a water tank inside the bottom of the hut which is available at the sink via a suction sink tap.

* There is also a small hut at Davis Point used for special fieldwork and as a refuge, which catches rain water off the roof.

Stored LPG cylinders at each hut supply gas to a small heater and a stove/hob. There is no in situ hot water available but water can be boiled and used in a field shower at some of the huts. There is a bucket hung up high with a hose fitted to the bottom that goes to a shower handpiece – perfect after a day with the birds!

Greg Sandrey - Macca Plumber 

Green Gorge hut showing a tank outside the hut with pipe feed outside the hut
Green Gorge hut showing a tank outside the hut with pipe feed…
(Photo: Greg Sandrey)
Hurd Point hut on Macquarie Island showing LPG gas bottles and water tank at the rear of the hut
Hurd Point hut showing gas bottles and water tank at the rear
(Photo: Greg Sandrey)
Sitting on the top of a ridge looking down the west coast on a field trip - boots in the foreground
A quick breather on a field trip to take in the scenery
(Photo: Greg Sandrey)
Waterfall Bay hut showing the water collecting coil and LPG gas bottles
Waterfall Bay hut showing the water collecting coil and LPG gas bottles
(Photo: Greg Sandrey)
Bauer Bay hut on Macquarie Island showing water tank on the roof
Bauer Bay hut showing water tank on the roof
(Photo: Greg Sandrey)
Brothers Point hut on Macquarie Island showing the collecting tube going into the water tank
Brothers Point hut showing the collecting tube going into the water tank
(Photo: Greg Sandrey)