Prior to departing for Macquarie Island, the team spent a busy few months attended numerous briefings on job specific tasks; environmental and WHS briefings; fire training, search and rescue training; and briefings and training on eradicating the last of the rabbits. While it was a busy few months we also took some time out to socialise with those we’d be spending 12 months with on station and in the field.
This week at Macquarie Island: 4 May 2012
Training in Hobart
Our three day voyage from Hobart to Macquarie Island wasn’t exactly relaxing despite very calm seas — at times we were wondering if the ship was heading north for the calm waters of the South Pacific islands instead of south across some of the wildest seas on earth . During our voyage we were all required to attend numerous briefings conducted by voyage management on resupply operations, station procedures, cleaning our personal gear to ensure no foreign unwanted seeds were going to hitch a ride on our boots or clothing, and finalising resupply rosters.
The good weather continued when we arrived at ‘Macca’ — during the 9 days of resupply operations we were fortunate to experience a number of sunny days and low winds, with only a few days of poor weather slowing up operations. With 12 months of supplies transported from ship to shore using helicopters and IRB’s (inflatable rescue boats) and enough time to complete a station handover it was a very busy time. The 2012 team, consisting of a small trades team, a chef, doctor, station Leader, a team from the bureau of meteorology and pest eradication personnel, spent time with their counterparts to ensure they could continue the good work the 2011 crew achieved during their year. Even the dogs involved in the pest eradication program were slightly put out while they adjusted to their new handlers.
The Aurora Australis left our shores late Saturday afternoon and those remaining behind relocated from the comforts of the mess to the Ham Shack to wave goodbye to the ship. Shortly after, we were all sitting together and enjoying a wonderful meal prepared for us by the station chef, Maria. The next morning we awoke to the first snow fall of the season, the mountains surrounding Macquarie Island all covered in snow.
Over the next few weeks we will continue to unpack the hundreds of boxes brought ashore, prepare the station for winter, commence field and ERT training as well as continue on with our day to day station tasks. And of course take a few photos of the wildlife we share this wonderful place with.