This week at the station
This week at Macquarie Island: 22 July 2011
Last Friday night was quiz night. We were treated with two lovely ladies dressed in their best as our official judges and masters of ceremonies. There were six teams and all were eager to prove their knowledge. It was a very fun filled night.
This week we celebrated our Carpenter (commonly known as the chippy) Mick's birthday. He was extremely busy this week, getting everything ready to go back on the Aurora Australis. So there was no day off for Mick, but he had a very enjoyable birthday and Danny made him a really yummy cake.
What we've been up to! AKA WORK!
What a busy week and it's only going to get busier! We were getting ready for targeted baiting with cutting up one tonne of carrot, learning how to stitch, heli stuff, preparing track markers, baiting, bait pod dismantling and mitigation.
Preparing to leave, e-coning and all sorts of madness
The Aurora Australis left Hobart on Tuesday, bound for Macquarie Island to retrieve MIPEP personnal and equipment such as helicopters and empty bait pods. Everything that has to go back to Australia on the ship must be consigned so that the crew and the Antarctic Division in Hobart know what is coming back and how best to pack and handle the consignments. Each item is entered into a computer and e-conned. This includes four helicopters each weighing in at 1.2 tonne!
Mick, the carpenter, has this huge responsibility. As the boat fast approaches Macca the containers are quickly organised and consigned, ready to be loaded when the ship arrives. Mick has done an exceptional job and we all thank him for his long hours and patience.
Boat training: A day on the water
On Monday the 18th we took three IRBs (Inflatable rubber boats) down the east coast of the island to become familiar with boat landing sites and patient retrieval. We practised various scenarios, the first being 'man overboard', with Dr Jamie keenly volunteering to brave the cool waters.
Luckily Wayne the plumber was quick to discover Dr Jamie had gone, and Danny the chef rescued him with the help of the other boat members. A floatable stretcher was also used in training to familiarise expeditioners with safe transfer of patients.
Surf landings were practised on the beaches at Green Gorge. It was a chilly day with slight wind and calm waters, which made a great day for boating. The expeditioners were happy with the day's training and felt more confident in handling Macquarie Island's waters.
Thank you Helen
Last night we honoured our 'quiet achiever' Helen Achurch who is heading home after a long stint working on Macquarie Island as Parks Ranger in charge.
Dinner, lots of Food and slushy Duties
Food, Food, Food..... Danny our chef certainly knows how to keep us happy!
This week we had not only our special Saturday night formal dinner but he catered for the Farewell MIPEP dinner which was a spit roast lamb! We certainly appreciated the effort that everyone including the chef's helpers and 'slushy' workers put in to make each meal time a very pleasing time. Below are some photos to show how much we help, and Danny our chef creating colourful platters of gourmet food to tantalise our tastebuds.
John Oake: Chief Pilot on Macca and Central South Island Helicopters NZ.
G’day John, where is home for you? Herbert North Otago South Island NZ.
What do you love most about Macquarie Island? Its harsh environment and weather systems.
Do you have any goals you wish to achieve here? To complete and achieve a successful baiting program.
If you could be any animal on Macca what would you be? A giant petrel; they seem like awesome old aviators from way back.
Who/what do you miss the most? My home comforts.
Do you have any special talents? Can you perform tricks? I have been told more than once that I'm pretty good at being a pain in the butt!
Where were you this time last year? Macca, trying to get done what we have done this year.
Where to after this adventure? Home to stoke the home fires.
Do you have a favourite Quote? Take notice but don't sweat the small stuff. Another one that Lionel (our favourite diesel mechanic) said down here that impressed me is: you can't manage what you don't measure!
Around Station Photos
This Week (my final week)....
Again this week wouldn't have been possible without the help of my fellow expeditioners. They work very hard but managed to find time or even stop to pose to help me make this issue possible by contributing photos and stories. Thank you (you know who you are)!
My time has come to head home as all good girls in corsets/back braces must Return To Australia (RTA). This marks my final "This week at Macca". Its not forever, I will return to Macquarie Island!
As my corset has been consigned RTA, this weeks photo is about heading home with the correct labels and a new corset designed for the Macquarie Island conditions complete with bunny fur!
I wish my fellow hunters and dog handlers the very best of luck, may you find every last bunny!
As always this edition of 'This Week at Macca' is proudly brought to you by CORSETS – Immobilizing and protecting the torso since the 17th century.
That’s all folks, I will be back.