This week at the station

This week at Macquarie Island: 22 July 2011

Quiz Night

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.

Team 1, keen to start
Team 1, keen to start

(Photo: Louise B)

Special Needs, ready to prove themselves
Special Needs, ready to prove themselves

(Photo: Trish M)

Leon, Peter K and Grant compete for the title of "Lemon eating Champ"
Leon, Peter K and Grant compete for the title of "Lemon eating...

(Photo: Louise B)

Trying to build a paper structure
Trying to build a paper structure

(Photo: Louise B)

It was all about the way it was rolled
It was all about the way it was rolled

(Photo: Louise B)

Talking tactics
Talking tactics

(Photo: Louise B)

Everyone had a great idea, it was alot of fun
Everyone had a great idea, it was a lot of fun

(Photo: Louise B)

But at the end of the night the special needs team proved to be to good
But at the end of the night the special needs team proved...

(Photo: Trish M)

Mick's Birthday

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.

Mick was certainly surprised, as the cake Danny Made was presented to him
Mick was certainly surprised, as the cake Danny Made was presented to...

(Photo: Louise B)

Happy Birthday Mick
Happy Birthday Mick

(Photo: Louise B)

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.

Carrot Cutting team
Carrot Cutting team

(Photo: Lachlan F)

A carrot man found in the box
A carrot man found in the box

(Photo: Louise B)

Preparing the carrots for Aerial baiting
Preparing the carrots for Aerial baiting

(Photo: Louise B)

The carrots ready to be served to the bunnies
The carrots ready to be served to the bunnies

(Photo: Louise B)

We had suture training
We had suture training

(Photo: Louise B)

We cut up the chicken and stitched it back up
We cut up the chicken and stitched it back up

(Photo: Louise B)

It was all very good practice
It was all very good practice

(Photo: Louise B)

Tony Practicing his stitches
Tony Practicing his stitches

(Photo: Louise B)

Track markers ready to be painted
Track markers ready to be painted

(Photo: Louise B)

Helen with the painted track markers ready to go out
Helen with the painted track markers ready to go out

(Photo: Louise B)

The tradies
The tradies

(Photo: Louise B)

Hard at work in the chippy shop
Hard at work in the chippy shop

(Photo: Louise B)

Bryan hard at work
Bryan hard at work

(Photo: Louise B)

Wayne T busy working
Wayne T busy working

(Photo: Louise B)

Even the dogs were hard at it
Even the dogs were hard at it

(Photo: Gary B)

A bit of snow doesn't stop them from working
A bit of snow doesn't stop them from working

(Photo: Gary B)

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.

(See the action unfold through the Aurora Australis and Macquarie Island webcams over the next few days!)

Mick organising containers
Mick organising containers

(Photo: Louise B)

Still working
Still working

(Photo: Louise B)

Mick and Wayne P come up with a plan
Mick and Wayne P come up with a plan

(Photo: Louise B)

Organising more consignments
Organising more consignments

(Photo: Louise B)

Packing consignments
Packing consignments

(Photo: Louise B)

Empty bait pods got moved into place
Empty bait pods got moved into place

(Photo: Louise B)

We are all  prepared for the ships arrival
We are all prepared for the ships arrival

(Photo: Louise B)

All ready to load the ship just one thing missing
All ready to load the ship just one thing missing

(Photo: Louise B)

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.

Tony Munnings 

The Boating crew
The Boating crew

(Photo: Gary B)

All set to hit the water
All set to hit the water

(Photo: Gary B)

Heading out into the blue yonder
Heading out into the blue yonder

(Photo: Trish M)

Out in the open waters
Out in the open waters

(Photo: Trish M)

Danny
Danny

(Photo: Gary B)

Cruising along
Cruising along

(Photo: Gary B)

The boating party
The boating party

(Photo: Lachlan F)

After successful surf landings
After successful surf landings

(Photo: Laurence C)

Having a break at Brothers Point
Having a break at Brothers Point

(Photo: Trish M)

In front of Garden Cove
In front of Garden Cove.

(Photo: Trish M)

Dr Jamie in the floating stretcher
Dr Jamie in the floating stretcher

(Photo: Trish M)

Floating stretcher in training
Floating stretcher in training

(Photo: Trish M)

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.

Station Leader Trish presenting Helen with a gift
Station Leader Trish presenting Helen with a gift

(Photo: Louise B)

Helen
Helen

(Photo: Louise B)

Helen unwraps her gift
Helen unwraps her gift

(Photo: Louise B)

Helen and the beautifully drawn picture of an elephant seal
Helen and the beautifully drawn picture of an elephant seal

(Photo: Louise B)

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.

Saturday Nights menu was up
Saturday Nights menu was up

(Photo: Louise B)

The tables set
The tables set

(Photo: Louise B)

Danny added colour to his platters
Danny added colour to his platters

(Photo: Louise B)

Dinner was served
Dinner was served

(Photo: Louise B)

and delightfully received
and delightfully received

(Photo: Louise B)

All happy expeditioners
All happy expeditioners

(Photo: Louise B)

Pumpkin got chopped
Pumpkin got chopped

(Photo: Louise B)

Serviettes folded
Serviettes folded

(Photo: Louise B)

Onions were sadly chopped
Onions were sadly chopped

(Photo: Louise B)

spuds had to be peeled
spuds had to be peeled

(Photo: Louise B)

Sushi being prepared
Sushi being prepared

(Photo: Louise B)

The Heli crew were a great help in the kitchen
The Heli crew were a great help in the kitchen

(Photo: Louise B)

Rod and Danny with the lamb spit roast
Rod and Danny with the lamb spit roast

(Photo: Louise B)

Tony carved up the lamb
Tony carved up the lamb

(Photo: Trish M)

The Farewell party
The Farewell party

(Photo: Trish M)

a good night was had by all
a good night was had by all

(Photo: Louise B)

Keith gave a speech
Keith gave a speech

(Photo: Louise B)

Helen and Keith
Helen and Keith

(Photo: Trish M)

Macca Attacker....

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! 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of my team here at Macca and at home as well as the rest of the MIPEP team and all other Macca expeditioners for the huge effort that everybody has put in for the baiting program to get to this stage .
Regards, JO.

John working on the aerial baiting of Macquarie Island coming in for another load
John working on the aerial baiting of Macquarie Island - coming in...

(Photo: Keith S)

John working hard in the snow
John working hard in the snow

(Photo: Byran P)

Around Station Photos

The snow melted
The snow melted

(Photo: Fletcher A)

A king penguin
A king penguin

(Photo: Fletcher A)

The pipes thawed and we had water for a limited time
The pipes thawed and we had water for a limited time

(Photo: Louise B)

The seals all seemed happy with each other even if there was a sneaky visitor amongst them
The seals all seemed happy with each other even if there was...

(Photo: Louise B)

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.

The CORSET consigned - ready to go
The CORSET consigned - ready to go

(Photo: Dr James Doube)

The luxury model CORSET
The luxury model CORSET

(Photo: Dr Jamie Doube)

This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.