This week at the station

This week at Macquarie Island: 25 April 2014

Field training on Macca

Our recently arrived 2014 station crew expeditioners need to complete their on-island field and survival training with our field training officer Ian, before they are allowed to travel off station for any work or recreational purposes. Ian is completing the initial stages of this training with us in groups of three expeditioners at a time. The training involves three days of on and off track walking travel, with a night spent at each of the two closest field huts, Bauer Bay on the west coast and Brother's Point on the east coast. This provides a good opportunity to experience the island in all its moods, to get acquainted with the island track system and field huts, and to master the navigational skills involved in off track travel. Last week, Ian took our chef Benny, doc Meg, and communications technical officer Ryan out for training. Ian will also be training our station SAR (search and rescue) team, and this training is now running concurrently with the field training.
Three expeditioners pose beside a walking track sign
Doc Meg, CTO Ryan and chef Benny commence their field training last…
(Photo: Benny Bogusz)
An expeditioner is surrounded by skua gulls by a lake
Benny gets acquainted with friendly skuas at Island Lake
(Photo: Ryan Johnson)
An expeditioner walking beside a lake
Ryan walking beside picturesque Island Lake
(Photo: Benny Bogusz)
Three expeditioners stand outside a field hut
Meg, Ryan and Ian outside Bauer Bay hut on the west coast
(Photo: Benny Bogusz)
Three expeditioners are seen inside the field hut
Ryan, Meg and Ian inside Bauer Bay hut
(Photo: Benny Bogusz)
Three expeditioners walking amongst high rock stacks beside a rocky coast
Field training amongst spectacular coastal rock stacks at Bauer Bay
(Photo: Ryan Johnson)
Another field hut
Brothers Point googie hut
(Photo: Ryan Johnson)
An expeditioner is in the hut door with a coastal bay behind
Benny at Brother's Point hut, Sandy Bay in the distance
(Photo: Ryan Johnson)

Jobs on and off station

Meanwhile, jobs on and off station continue. Our Bureau of Meteorology senior technical officer (engineering) Sean took advantage of a rare beautifully calm day to carry out maintenance and calibration checks of the BOM anemometer, which records wind speed on top of a high mast. He was ably assisted by our supervising communications technical officer Scotty, and both Sean and Scotty are suitably qualified for "working at heights".

Our plumber Greg and building services supervisor Graeme have been replacing the building heating water pipes in our site services plumbing around the station buildings. This week, Greg and Graeme have been working on the new HHW (heating hot water services) connection to Hass House as part of an upgrade of the old system that was starting to show its age. As the old pipes were buried underground it was decided to use some of the existing service culverts to Cumpstons cottage and continue through with an easily accessible culvert made from treated timber.

Our Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service ranger in charge Chris and wildlife ranger Mike have been busy with a range of wildlife related tasks around the island, as well as track upgrades and repairs, which is an unending task in this harsh environment.

Two expeditioners check the safety harness of one of them, beside the mast
Scotty and Sean carry out safety checks before Sean ascends the anemometer…
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
An expeditioner is seen climbing a mast tower
Sean ascends the anemometer mast
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
Two expeditioners workng beside a plumbing trench beside a station building
Graeme and Greg working beside the site services plumbing culvert
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
A plumber working in the trench
Greg working on the new plumbing in the site services culvert
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
A plumber welding a new pipe
Greg welding new pipes for the site services plumbing
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Two rangers walking carrying bundles of track markers
Chris and Mike head off for track maintenance work
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Ranger hammers wire netting down onto a boarded section of walking track
Chris carrying out track repairs on a well used section of boarded…
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)