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