Between 10–12th April our first team of expeditioners embarked on field familiarisation training. Led by our highly experienced Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service ranger in charge Andrea, chef Nick, meteorology senior observer Matt and myself, we spent three days and two nights off station.
We travelled to the Bauer Bay and Brothers Point areas, staying in the field huts and undergoing training in field survival skills, navigation, and parks/wildlife awareness. In addition, we got a serious dose of the majestic Macca wildlife with some amazing king and royal penguin interactions at Sandy Bay. Everyone came back full of smiles, epic tales of wildlife awesomeness and singing the praises of a field delicacy known as Fray Bentos (arguably the best steak and kidney pie in the world).
After the return of our field training team, the station got together to debrief during our formal Saturday dinner.
Formal Saturday nights are a long-held tradition across the Antarctic program, where everyone makes an effort to dress nice (read: no hi-vis or outdoor gear) for a night of fine dining, laughs and stories from the week.
Saturday nights often mark an organised social event or proper celebration of an expeditioners birthday from the week past. Speaking of which, prior to the departure of our field training team, we held the inaugural Macca ‘premium cinema experience’ on 8th April. Everyone enjoyed a great night in our comfy cinema chairs watching the stations movie pick of ‘Deadpool’, whilst dining on some decadent movie food including salt and pepper calamari, trios of sliders and everyone’s favourite - movie lollies and chips.
On Tuesday 18th April, we marked the 20th anniversary opening of Cumpstons Cottage with a celebratory morning tea. Thanks to our multi–talented doctor Jan Wallace, we were treated to a sumptuous feast of muffins, cherry slice, and coffee and tea made to order!
Finally, this week we all celebrated the Easter long weekend with much cheer, chocolate and (thankfully) no rabbits!
From all of us at Macca, we hope you all had an equally enjoyable and safe Easter break.
Kyle Williams — Station Leader, Macquarie Island 70thANARE