This week at Macquarie Island

  • The Australian national flag and the tricolour flying at half mast at Macca last weekend in memory of the French helicopter accident

    5 November 2010

    Six new expeditioners arrived on station on the Sunday before last on the French Antarctic research vessel L’Astrolabe. We had a good three-day trip down and were delighted to arrive here to a warm reception. However we were to be greatly saddened by the tragic news a few days later of the death of four of the ship’s French expeditioners in the helicopter crash near Dumont D’Urville. Our sympathies go to our French colleagues and the families of the victims of the accident. The Australian flag and the tricolour which had been both flying on the station flagpoles for the ship’s arrival on Sunday were sadly flying again at half mast just a few days later. Six new expeditioners arrived on station on the Sunday before last on the French Antarctic research vessel L’Astrolabe. We had a good three-day trip down and were delighted to arrive here to a warm reception. However we were to be …

  • The Ham Shack

    29 October 2010

    Last Friday we held a barbeque at the Ham Shack, a comfortable hut with a veranda overlooking the sea and good views into nearby Garden Cove. Best of all, a light-mantled sooty albatross had started making a nest beside a rock quite close to the veranda and was calling up to potential mates. To our delight another albatross did fly in for a few moments of courtship, getting the cameras clicking. With luck we will be able to watch at close quarters the raising of an albatross chick there through summer. Last Friday we held a barbeque at the Ham Shack, a comfortable hut with a veranda overlooking the sea and good views into nearby Garden Cove. Best of all, a light-mantled sooty albatross had started making a nest beside a …

  • Snowy view from Brothers Point: elephant seals on the beach and royal penguins on the slope

    20 October 2010

    It’s freezing outside once again, and snow covers the ground. Here it is not so much temperature that defines seasons, as day length, presumably what the wildlife responds to, providing the cue to trigger the breeding urge in this island zoo. The gentoo penguins nest in the tussocks near the beaches, the closest only a few metres from buildings with some right beside roads and paths, where vehicles and people pass only centimetres from them. Their eggs are now hatching, and small, black faces can sometimes be seen protruding from beneath white parental tummies. It’s freezing outside once again, and snow covers the ground. Here it is not so much temperature that defines seasons, as day length, presumably what the wildlife responds to, providing the cue to trigger the breeding urge in this island …

  • Adrian and Troy with new antennas for Wireless Hill

    15 October 2010

    Two persistent themes running through everyday life at Macquarie Island are the wildlife (it’s a bit like living in a zoo!) and the wind. Both aspects feature in this week’s news. The wind is ever-present. And when it gets well above gale force, gusting to more than 60 knots at the station and more on hilltops down the island, damage can result. Two persistent themes running through everyday life at Macquarie Island are the wildlife (it’s a bit like living in a zoo!) and the wind. Both aspects feature in this week’s news. The wind is ever-present. And when it gets well …

  • View from Aerial Cove, looking south

    8 October 2010

    We have been bothered recently by the bull elephant seals in their seasonally testosterone-fuelled condition. We have been bothered recently by the bull elephant seals in their seasonally testosterone-fuelled condition. …

  • Snow at Sandy Bay

    1 October 2010

    The beaches are being monitored weekly (and soon daily) to count the number of breeding cows present, as part of long-term research into the population trends of this spectacular animal. A few of the cows have a very space age look to them, sporting electronic recording devices which are part of an ongoing oceanographic research project.  The beaches are being monitored weekly (and soon daily) to count the number of breeding cows present, as part of long-term research into the population trends of this spectacular animal. A few of the cows have a very space age …

  • Macca under snow

    24 September 2010

    Greetings from a chilly (and maybe rather smelly?) Macquarie Island. For the whole week our water supply from Gadget Gully has been frozen, and we have been rationing our water use. This happens at some time or other every winter and we have been lucky to have mostly avoided it so far this year, although it seems a little unfair to suffer now just as spring is unfolding outside! Greetings from a chilly (and maybe rather smelly?) Macquarie Island. For the whole week our water supply from Gadget Gully has been frozen, and we have been rationing our water use. This happens at some time or other every winter …

  • The inner wall under construction

    17 September 2010

    The new main power house continues towards completion, the Sandy Bay boardwalk is designed, the northern giant petrel census is completed and animals return to the Island for spring. The new main power house continues towards completion, the Sandy Bay boardwalk is designed, the northern giant petrel census is completed and animals return to the Island for spring. …

  • Macquarie Island station under snow

    This Week at Macquarie Island 10 September 2010

    The weather, a constant talking point here, once again ran the full gamut: rain, sunshine, wind, fog, snow and frost, with the water supply pipes mercifully freezing up for only a few hours. Back in force are the skuas, in good time to enjoy the bonanza of food that appears during spring. The weather, a constant talking point here, once again ran the full gamut: rain, sunshine, wind, fog, snow and frost, with the water supply pipes mercifully freezing up for only a few hours. Back in force are the skuas, in …

  • Walkers dwarfed by the grandeur of Green Gorge basin

    3 September 2010

    For once the fickle Macca weather smiled on us we took advantage of it. For a few days we had light winds and even some sunshine. Several people returned from down-island trips, taken for both work reasons and recreation. The last leg of the return journey was obstructed on one day by our playful visiting young Hooker’s sea-lion. For once the fickle Macca weather smiled on us we took advantage of it. For a few days we had light winds and even some sunshine. Several people returned from down-island trips, taken for both work reasons and recreation. The …

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This page was last updated on 12 May 2014.