The winter 2015 team has had a busy week this week, seeing out the completion of resupply, farewelling the 2014 team and round trip expeditioners, and settling into station.
Part two of our resupply was hampered by some uncooperative weather. Low cloud restricted our helicopter operations, but the trusty LARCS (amphibious vehicles) came back into their own and kept cargo running when the air operations ceased. It wasn’t long before high winds then put a halt to our ability to run LARCS, so all focus turned to managing the shore-side logistics of packing away incoming cargo, and repacking cargo to be returned to Australia.
With the weather forecast predicted unlikely to improve sufficiently to enable us to recommence helicopter or LRAC operations, the voyage leadership team announced their decision to depart on Saturday night. This news injected a buzz of excitement into the wintering station team and we readied ourselves to farewell the Aurora and the outgoing expeditioners one last time, with the lighting of flares from the hamshack.
We awoke on Sunday to our first day together as the 68th ANARE crew. The 13 of us pulled together to tackle the cleaning and laundry of over 70 round trip expeditioners who were on station over resupply. Nick, Mark, and Ben reorganised the cargo on the isthmus, particularly the loads that didn’t make it to the ship. Dan, Rich, Louise, Andrea and Duncan started a cleaning blitz on the accommodation blocks so that we could all move into our rooms and get settled; Justin organised the kitchen and stores; and Marion ensured our medical set up was all in order. Anna led the laundry charge, coordinating an around the clock laundry blitz, whilst Lionel steam cleaned the carpets. We are now all settled into our accommodations and catching some well earned rest, and getting into our work routines.
On behalf of the 2015 wintering team, we extend our gratitude to everyone involved in the resupply activities. A special thanks to the voyage leadership team for coordinating a successful resupply in challenging conditions. We, the outgoing Macca 2014 team, wish our best for the year ahead to the crew.