This week at Macquarie Island: 30 January 2015

Macca received an unusual visiting boat, and Australia Day was celebrated.

Yacht Katharsis II visits Macca

This summer, Macquarie Island has received nine tourist ship visits from Heritage Expedition’s Spirit of Enderby (which carries about 60 tourists) and Silversea's Silver Explorer (which carries about 100 tourists). Last week we also had a visit from an unusual boat, the privately owned Polish (London registered) yacht Katharsis II. Katharsis II, with nine Polish sailors aboard including the owner couple, is en route to the Ross Sea area where they hope to visit the Bay of Whales (in the vicinity of Amundsen's base on the Ross Ice Shelf) and the historic huts of Scott and Shackleton in the Ross Sea.

These hardy adventurers had obtained the necessary Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service paperwork to visit Macca on the way down from Hobart, and spent two days with us. TASPAWS rangers Chris and Mike guided them around Sandy Bay to see the wildlife there, and around the isthmus including a station visit. We were very happy to have the opportunity to invite them to dinner on station last Friday night, and a memorable night was enjoyed by all. We are now following their progress with interest, and three days after leaving here they have made great progress to reach 61 degrees south. The boat and her owners are experienced polar sailors, having previously sailed to the Antarctic Peninsula and transitted the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. On the return trip to Europe, they hope to transit the Northwest Passage “in reverse”, ie west to east.

Yacht Katharsis II at Macca
Yacht Katharsis II at Macca. That’s a mast!
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Katharsis II at Macca
Katharsis II at Macca
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Katharsis II at Macca
Katharsis II at Macca
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Ingrid, Ivor and Robert talking to a visitor from Katharsis II
Ingrid, Ivor and Robert talking to a visitor from Katharsis II
(Photo: Mariusz Koper)
Macca community and our Polish visitors from Katharsis II
Macca community and our Polish visitors from Katharsis II (Benny in the comfy chair!)
(Photo: Mariusz Koper)

Australia Day at Macca

We celebrated Australia Day at the southernmost part of Australia (less external territories) with a very brief and chilly swim on both sides of the isthmus, a cricket game, a barbeque, a humorous ‘citizenship ceremony’ for New Zealander Greg, and a rousing rendition of the anthem after dinner.

Australia Day swimmers
Australia Day swimmers brave the five degree temperature and 40 knot winds
(Photo: Malcolm Vernon)
Swimmers run across the isthmus
Swimmers run across the isthmus
(Photo: Malcolm Vernon)
Keon bowls in our cricket game
Keon bowls in our cricket game
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Robert batting, Jarrod behind the stumps
Robert batting, Jarrod behind the stumps
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
New Zealander Greg couldn’t resist the urge to send down an underarmer…
New Zealander Greg couldn’t resist the urge to send down an underarmer…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Kiwi Greg with his "citizenship certificate"
Kiwi Greg with his ‘citizenship certificate'
(Photo: Ivor Harris)

Macca photo gallery

Recent birthdays: Greg with birthday cake (thanks Benny)
Recent birthdays: Greg with birthday cake (thanks Benny)
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
Expeditioner cuts cake with large knife
Recent birthdays: TASPAWS wildlife ranger and ex-MIPEP rabbit hunter Mike, cutting his birthday cake
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
Wildlife ranger Mike uses a boroscope to inspect blue petrel nesting burrows at Green Gorge
Wildlife ranger Mike uses a boroscope to inspect blue petrel nesting burrows at Green Gorge
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Pat and Pete with recently completed helipad outside the machinery shed
Pat and Pete with recently completed helipad outside the machinery shed
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Royal penguins at Bauer Bay show affection by nuzzling beaks
Royal penguins at Bauer Bay
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)
Royal penguins at Bauer Bay face off with beaks open, apparently squawking at one another
Royal penguins at Bauer Bay
(Photo: Evelyn Sandoval)