Macca prepares for L'Astrolabe, the French research vessel aiding their annual resupply. The gorgeous plants of Macquarie Island are featured.

Station update

This week was a week of waiting on Macca, wondering which ship would be dispatched to bring the 68th ANARE crew home. Rumours were rife on station with word out in ‘Market Square’ that LeSoleal, the luxurious cruise liner that visited us earlier in the season, would be making a return trip. From the whimsical – the Silver Discoverer – to the ridiculous – The Slushy FM Pirate Radio ship that rocked, a raft of LARCS, a yellow submarine, or a fleet of IRBs were all thrown into the mix. On Tuesday we finally received word that the French vessel L’Astrolabe would be again returning to our shores to facilitate the 2016 resupply. Relief in finally knowing that a ship is on its way was felt by some, the seasick sufferers shuddered, and Chef Jimmy had to be consoled after letting go of his dream for The Love Boat to come and pick us up.

Last Friday evening, the station celebrated our ‘End of Season Dinner'. Medallions were awarded to the wintering expeditioners, and a fun night filled with entertainment followed. There was a photo competition, the rangers ran a trivia quiz, and a fashion show featuring Macquarie Island style was staged. Doc Mal and Louise sang a Macca themed rendition of Summertime by Gershwin, and Tim and Dan put on a juggling performance. An all station reading of limericks, secretly stuck on the bottom of our chairs by Mal, was enjoyed by all. A multi course Macca themed degustation menu, creatively celebrating keystone moments in our season, was prepared by Jimmy. Dishes such as 'Thundersnow', 'Inundation', 'Storm in a Tea Cup', and 'Thinking of Smoko' were highlights.

Station celebrated Robbie K’s birthday a week early in lieu of his actual birthday which will fall during resupply. Jimmy’s accurately scaled underwater hockey cake was devoured in front of an open fire in market square, accompanied by all of the leftover marshmallows that we could lay our hands on!

So now that we have a ship preparing to leave port bound for Macca, we are madly scrambling to pack our things, move rooms, clean up the station, and take those final photos we haven’t quite captured yet.

This time next week, Macca station will be abuzz with 60 people, and a hive of activity. We are looking forward to seeing those expressions of wide eyed wonderment in the faces of the new crew coming in that we too arrived with. For now though, we will soak up our remaining days on this beautiful island.

On behalf of the 68th ANARE team, we hope that you’ve all enjoyed our weekly updates over this past year. It has been with great joy that we've been able to share our station life over the past 12 months here on subantarctic Macquarie Island. We wish the incoming 69th ANARE crew all the very best for a safe and successful season.

Jacque Comery, Station Leader 2015/16

Green Sponge Interview Series: Jeremy R

Name: Jeremy Richardson

Nicknames: Jez, Jezza

From: Hobart

Previous seasons? First timer

Job: Remediation Officer

Hobbies: Being around mountains

Tell us about the project work that you are doing on Macca this summer: (What is the project, what field activities are you up to, etc.)

I’m working as part of the AAD’s Remediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons Project team. Our team is investigating and remediating petroleum hydrocarbon impacts associated with the historic operation of the base. For me, this has involved collection of various soil and water samples and maintenance of on-site remediation infrastructure. I’m mainly found somewhere on the isthmus digging holes.

How does this season at Macca compare to your previous seasons down south?

First timer, but if I ever get to another base it’ll have to be pretty amazing to beat this one.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Macca?

The critters. It’s like we’re working in a huge subantarctic zoo enclosure. I’m pretty sure we’re the exhibit.

If you were exiled to Bishop and Clerk Islands to the south of Macca, what four things would you take with you?

An orca training manual, a fishing rod to catch orca training food, an underwater orca whistle to summon and train my large friends and an orca saddle on which I would ride my saviours into the sunset.

What song sums up your Macquarie Island experience so far?

Album: Sea Change by Beck.

Favourite element of the Macca weather?


What actor would play you in a film version of our 68th ANARE season here at Macca?

Vincent Chase.

Favourite hut or walking route?

Green Gorge hut — it’s got a porch overlooking a secluded bay of amazing creatures.

If you were not a remediation officer what would be your dream job?

Wes Anderson’s props manager.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division/Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife kit?

The polarised sunnies. If the light’s just right and you hold your head a certain way the grass turns bright blue.

It is the year 2115 on Macca. What is the coolest thing we have on station and why?

A school. Kids would love it here.

Please name the royal penguin on our 68th ANARE logo.

Jub Jub.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? A particular favourite?

80’s brit pop: The Smiths, The Beautiful South, The Cure, etc.

Describe your Macca experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.

  • Sight: ever changing amazing clouds
  • Smell: rotting kelp
  • Sound: waves on cobble
  • Feeling: constant wind buffeting
  • Taste: Jimmy’s chocolate custard filled donuts!

Settlers of Catan, or Darts?

Either, just bring your game face.

Photo gallery: Getting up close to the plants of Macquarie Island

This gallery shows Macca plants up close, a macro view of some of the Macquarie Island flora. These pictures were mostly taken of plants growing on the Varne Plateau with the exception of Poa foliosa which was photographed on the way to the plateau, by summer expeditioner and botanist, Jane Gosden.

The last word

What if…