This week at the station
This week at Macquarie Island: 2 December 2011
Tradies - The backbone of the Station
The Antarctic Station of Macquarie Island could not run all the science and National Parks programs that it does without the vital role that the trades team plays in keeping everything on the station running in good order.
This year’s trades team consists of five extremely professional and competent fellows: Mick (carpenter and building sites supervisor), Lionel (mechanic and here for his 5th year!), Wayne (plumber and Search and Rescue leader), Col and Ashley (electricians) and Danny (chef and Fire Chief). Not only are they experts in their respective fields, they are great all rounders, able to turn their hand to anything that needs fixing. They keep the station running – including all the repairs that happen to a station situated in the path of the ‘furious fifties’ winds.
A very special guest
On the weekend, a tourist ship arrived to visit the Island. Also on board was Hillary, the wife of our chef Danny. Hillary was able to spend a night on the station and see how we operate and meet all Danny’s colleagues. Danny provided an extensive tour of the local surrounds.
Saturday night is the one night of the week where we sit down to a formal dinner. On this particular evening, to free up Danny for his wife’s visit, volunteers prepared a special meal, with Eve taking on the role of master chef. She certainly did a great job, and everyone enjoyed a very relaxed meal with the extra company. The passionfruit Crème brûlée was fantastic!
Solar panels at Mt Jeffreys
Last week we described the boat trip to get Dan and Wayne, and two solar panels down the coast. The fellows arrived back at the station a few days later, having completed their task and spent two days walking back through gale force winds.
Carrying two solar panels up a mountain is no easy task – and certainly stretched a few muscles and got both Dan and Wayne breathing deeply. Fortunately, on that particular day the winds were reasonable (below 35 km/h). They found that one of the existing panels had been smashed by a windblown rock. After completing some maintenance, it was time to head home – into the ever-increasing headwinds!