This week at the station
This week at Macquarie Island: 25 October 2013
The wonder that is Hurd Point
Last week Tony H and I had the pleasure of taking a stroll down island. The walk down took us two days.
The second day included a scenic bypass along the Tiobunga Track where we were treated to chocolate slice and a pasta lunch, made by Karen and Mike.
We arrived at the end of the Overland Track and, as it was a pretty nice day, we took time to enjoy the view from the top of the Scree Jump-up.
At the top of the Grassy Jump-up we also took time to take in the magnificent view, while psyching ourselves for the descent.
The following day was a rest day, it was also a perfect day weather wise. There was very little wind and lengthy periods of bright warm sunshine. We took the opportunity to view the enormous royal penguin rookery from the grassy tussock above the colony.
For over an hour we experienced the wildlife and scenery with all our senses. The sight, sounds and smell of the thousands upon thousands of penguins
There were also large elephant seal harems on the beach in front of the colony and along with the birds (skuas, giant petrels and albatross) which all added to the colourful sensory tapestry of sights and sounds.
On the way back to the hut we wandered through the rock stacks on the coast and with the sun shinning, it afforded us some great photo opportunities, highlighted by the amazing array of colour.
Later I wandered down the beach to the west of the hut to again experience the abundant wildlife and vibrant colours.
My time at Hurd Point is an experience I will never forget.
By Barend (Barry) Becker
Repairs to the bridge over Sawyer Creek
After the big fall of snow a few weeks ago it had been reported that the bridge had collapsed at Sawyer Creek near Green Gorge. Although the creek is not big by any means, there are times after a big snow melt that it does double its width making the Overland Track just that bit more challenging.
With the assistance of the boating crew that delivered the new bearers to the beach at Green Gorge, with Chef Tony and the Tas Parks and Wildlife ranger Chris, we carried out the repairs in just a few hours.
Not to let pass the opportunity of having two extra strong backs at his disposal, Chris also carried out more track marker replacements on the way to and back from Green Gorge. A much appreciated task by all that use the track at night and in foul weather.
The other task that was included in this trip was to get a tissue sample from a whale that had washed up on the West Coast near Langdon Point. Three days off station, 40 kilometres travelled, one bridge rebuilt, 200 track markers changed over, 100 track markers repainted for the next un-suspecting volunteer, and a sample of the whale. All in all, a most relaxing and rewarding trip.
By Chris Howard
In this week’s Macca Gallery, the photos were all taken in and around the station, with the main them being the wildlife.