Expeditioners learn the art of crochet while catching up on the Aussie Open, enjoy some long awaited sunshine and get a look at cute, fluffy Cape petrel chicks.

Station update

The latter half of last week afforded the 68th ANARE crew the chance to bask in some beautiful subantarctic sunshine. Whilst some cut the sleeves off their t-shirts, others donned their shorts and we went about our work bathed in sunscreen and wearing sun hats (also rare as they usually blow off!).

We also took advantage of the good weather to pitch in and assist the storeman, Dom, in moving the former kitchen and plumbing store from one building to another. In a great team effort we knocked off this job along with assisting Doc in moving his medical supplies into the former dark room, all before lunchtime.

Friday morning saw us partake in a photo shoot wishing summering science expeditioner Helena congratulations for her weekend wedding.

Inspired by the wonderful weather, expeditioners kicked off the weekend full of enthusiasm. The whiteboard in the mess looked akin to an activities board at Club Med, with a full weekend schedule of activities proposed. Sunday started with crocheting lessons followed by a Radiolab podcast session, more crocheting, which rolled into the screening of the Australian Open women’s tennis final, through which most people continued crocheting!

Jez, Tez and Jac embarked on a hike along the east coast on Sunday to the Nuggets, packing snacks and hot drinks. We basked in the sunshine on the rocky beach in the company of thousands of royal penguins, noting that we were probably in one of the finer picnic spots in the world.

On Tuesday, the station crew mounted a boating trip down the east coast. We took the plumber, Tim, down to Green Gorge along with a replacement hut heater which he needed to install. We then continued down to waterfall Bay and then Brothers Point, changing out sleeping bags to fresh ones for the next season. Whilst no orcas were sighted this trip, we were followed by black-browed albatross, light-mantled albatross, and many other smaller seabirds. Karen and Jane used the opportunity to collect some soils samples in the Sandy Bay area, assisted by the boating crew.

On Tuesday night the Australian Open men’s tennis final was screened in the mess, with a crowd gathering to watch the match between Djokovic and Murray. And yes, there was crocheting.

Wanting to keep us on our toes, the Macca weather is now back to its prevailing pattern, and once again we are experiencing some lively winds. Work is continuing around station, as we try and finish off our season’s projects prior to the upcoming resupply.

And crocheting continues…

Jacque Comery

Looking for Cape petrel chicks

The first Cape petrels breeding on Macquarie Island were recorded in 2002/03. Since then, a handful of pairs have bred on North Head each year on the slopes opposite Gorilla Head Rock. In December, the rangers went searching for nests when adults were incubating their eggs. This week, we returned to check on the progress of the chicks.

We found nine chicks, most still covered in charcoal grey down, tucked into little nooks amongst the bright green Colobanthus that dominates the area. Over the next few weeks, these chicks will lose their down and reveal the distinct black and white pattern of their adult plumage.

Anna Lashko, Wildlife Ranger

The Green Sponge Interview series: Terry E

Name: Terry Egan

Nicknames: Tez, Tezza, Spring (when I was an apprentice)

From: Freshwater, Sydney

Previous seasons? 2008/09 summer Casey, 2012/13 summer Davis, 2013/14 summer Mawson

Job: Honorary Scientist, chippie (carpenter)

Hobbies: No real hobbies, using the great chippie workshop is a lot of fun. Cross country skiing, shame there is no snow here.

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.)

First two months I was working as an assistant with the science team remediation project, digging holes and filling them in. Since then, chippie work building outside stairs, handrails and a boardwalk to the Ham shack, building an enclosure for a LIDAR installation in the science building, acting as a tour guide for the tourists on the ships that occasionally turn up here, and being part of the IRB crew about five times delivering supplies down the south end of the island.

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

Totally different. It’s wetter, sandier, consistently windier, cloudier, noisier (crashing surf and animal farting and burping noises), wild and dynamic environment, more animals and a lot of variety in the work. All of these things are good things, it’s what makes Macca, Macca. I love down south too, it’s just different.

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

The variety of stuff I do, and the people.

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

Bothy bag, fuel stove, coffee pot, and coffee. 

What song sums up your Macquarie Island experience so far?

Stolen Dance by Milky Chance.

Favourite element of the Macca weather?

Four seasons in ten minutes. It’s snowing, don’t worry, give it a minute.

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

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Favourite hut or walking route?

Bauer Bay (party hut), Jessie Niccol track from Waterfall Bay hut to Pyramid Lake.

If you were not a chippie, what would be your dream job?

MET observer. (Bureau of Meteorology)

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

Carhart jacket.

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

The LARC (amphibious craft) due to rising sea levels the station will unfortunately be under water, so I can get back to Australia.

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

Jimmy Recard

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

Mainly rock from the 60s, 70s, and 80s but anything goes except country. I’ll tell you when I like it, I just won’t remember the name of the song.

Describe your Macca experience with a:

  • Sight: Animals everywhere and green (as opposed to white in Antarctica)
  • Smell: Seal wallow
  • Sound: Elle seals barking at each other.
  • Feeling: The wind in my face and hair
  • Taste: Jimmie’s fantastic cooking

Settlers of Catan, or Darts?


The last word