Season celebrations, birthdays, a quiz night and spring cleaning.

Christmas and New Year

The last two weeks at Macquarie Island have been very busy, with everyone back on station and celebrations and work parties to keep everyone occupied.

Everyone who spends most of their time working in the field returned to the station on Christmas Eve, where everything was in full swing with preparations for Christmas. The kitchen was a beehive of activity with people trying to finish off Secret Santa gifts, and Danny being very patient while he tried to finish his preparations for Christmas day. Later in the afternoon, we set about decorating the Mess for Christmas. After a hearty BBQ in the Store everyone enjoyed a relaxed evening in anticipation of the following day.

Christmas Day started with a champagne brunch at 10am. Santa arrived in the afternoon, accompanied by elves and others. Santa distributed each “Secret Santa’ present to individual expeditioners — and was very astute in determining who had been good and who had been naughty. There were fabulous gifts made by some very talented people.

Christmas dinner was scheduled to begin at 4:00pm and everyone arrived dressed in their best clothes to find a feast arranged before their eyes — a table of seafood on ice platters and bowls, a banquet of hot dishes and a spectacular dessert table.

In between courses we headed out onto the steps of the Mess for our summer team photo, including the dogs who are very much a part of the team.

New Year’s Eve was another excuse for a feast — Chef Danny, with the assistance of Tony, prepared a lamb spit roast and a multitude of other deliceous dishes that we all enjoyed out in the Store. Games of badminton and shooting baskets were interspersed with the meal. This was followed by a bonfire with sparklers outside, despite the occasional shower. The new year was warmly welcomed with a champagne toast in the Mess, and a good sleep-in the folowing morning.

Birthdays, quiz nights and slide shows

We celebrated three birthdays over the ten day Christmas-New Year break. Other recreational activities included a fun quiz night organised by Tim, our resident fur seal researcher, an arctic canoeing slide show, historic slides of Macquarie Island vegetation prior to rabbit decimation, table tennis and Badminton.

Spring cleaning

With everyone on station it was an ideal opportunity to get some jobs done that required a few hands — clearing of wood piles, carpeting the gym, and a spring clean of the Mess. There was also dog training to be done and a Search and Rescue planning exercise.