This week at the station
This week at Macquarie Island: 9 August 2013
On Saturday the 27thof July we gathered together to celebrate a man who is envied by everyone on Macquarie Island. Yep... indeed, there’s not much to say really except that Dave is simply the best.
Happy Birthday Mr Brett, the awesome BSS!
We celebrated with a stupendous menu of finger food created and cooked by Chef Tony and Patty, and followed by a monstrously tall cake.
Dave was spoiled and showered with gifts, magic glowing thumbs for magic tricks from the Doctor Clive, a bottle of malt whiskey wrapped in newspaper and stuck together with HP sauce because Chef Tony didn’t have any sticky tape, and a double-sided Mancala board game made by the golden boy of Macquarie Aaron (some say he is the ginger beard man).
The evening continued with a slide show of photos of Dave submitted by his lovely wife Bronwyn and we finished the evening with a video comedy show.
Happy birthday Dave, you are brilliant.
The Deep Freeze
During this time of the year the weather systems zoom through Macquarie Island at a fast pace.
We are in the zone for some extreme conditions. Our temperature doesn’t vary greatly as the surrounding ocean has a moderating effect. Though we don’t experience the profoundly cold temperatures of our colleagues on continental Antarctica, we occasionally receive a blast from the south.
This was the case in the last week of July. From the 22nd a series of cold fronts crossed the island, bringing the usual drizzle and showers over the next couple of days.
Then, as the associated low pressure system passed south of the island, a cold front crossed Macca on the afternoon of the 24th. The winds turned south-westerly and brought a cold blast. The air mass had been transported from the Antarctic continent.
Despite the moderating effect of the Southern Ocean waters the temperature at Macca dropped to way below freezing, also producing heavy snow showers for the next 36 hours.
A minimum temperature of -8.5°C was recorded, which was not far from the coldest temperature ever recorded for Macca of -9.4°C (65 years of records). We also take readings of the ground (terrestrial) temperature and it was down to -11.0°C on the morning of the 25th which was only 0.1°C from the coldest recorded.
The result was an island covered in powdery snow and ice (as seen from last week's story – Ange’s Archeological Dig). This was ideal for photography and many of us took the opportunity to get out there and take some snaps.
By Barend (Barry) Becker