The winter crew at Macquarie Island complete resupply and wave farewell to the previous expeditioners who have departed for Australia on French ship L'Astrolabe.

Resupply continues

Resupply continues apace here on the island. As of yesterday lunchtime, we have offloaded all cargo — a total 117 tonnes all transported via LARC, thanks to our hardy watercraft operators. In the absence of helicopters this resupply, all focus has been on station resupply and return-to-australia (RTA) cargo, which has been more than enough to keep everyone occupied. Great to see how all expeditioners are ready and willing for any task required, including an ‘all-hands bucket brigade’ for a rapid unload of all the freezer food pallets.

Weather briefly ceased activities due to high winds. The new winterers are quickly learning the vagaries of the weather here and how rapidly it can change. A weather respite gives us time to finalise handovers.

Finally we said goodbye to the 68th ANARE team and all round trippers as we loaded L'Astrolabe first thing and waved her off back to Hobart. Bon voyage!

Station handover

The 68th ANARE expeditioners officially handed over station to the 69th ANARE on Sunday night. Ceremonial keys were given to incoming Station Leader, Esther Rodewald, and Deputy Station Leader (DSL), Joe Ahearn, by outgoing Station Leader, Jacque Comery, and DSL, Nick Cartwright. Incoming TASPAWS Ranger in Charge, Chris Howard, and Bureau of Meteorology Senior Observer, Alison Skinn, also took over the reins of their respective offices. Joe, Chris and Alison have all spent time on Macquarie Island before.

From the 69th ANARE: a big thank you to the outgoing team for all their help and patience over the last week as we've been learning the ropes.

We have a LIDAR

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) scientists and technicians installed the AAD polarisation LIDAR system at Macquarie Island during the week. The green beam from the LIDAR is clearly visible on station at night and will doubtless make for some great photo opportunities over winter.

The AAD’s LIDAR is part of a suite of instruments provided by several institutes from around the world to study cloud properties over Macquarie Island for the next two years. The data gathered will be used to evaluate weather forecasting and climate models, and validate satellite cloud retrievals.

The AAD and external scientists managed to install all of the cloud-related instruments — LIDAR, cloud radar, aerosol sensors, precipitation sensor, ceilometers, and radiometers — during this resupply with much assistance from many expeditioners on station.