In this past week we were very pleased to see the arrival of the French icebreaker L’Astrolabe. She arrived in Buckles Bay around 0900 Friday 9th November, keeping station just offshore, without dropping anchors. It was always going to be a short visit.
Weather was standard Macca fare and just too much for locals to get out onto the water (beyond the wind parameters for boating). L’Astrolabe’s Master and crew kindly took over the responsibility of ship/shore transfers, being able to operate in windier conditions than the Macca crews. People and cargo came ashore in a constant flow, using the ship’s RIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat).
At the shore end, a line of helping hands in dry suits assisted new arrivals onto the beach and all baggage and cargo into waiting palletised containers.
With all the incoming summer crew ashore, all the Macca freight landed, we sadly bade farewell to the L’Astrolabe at midday Friday. It was indeed a short visit and many thanks to the French Navy — merci beaucoup!
The action continues as new summer expeditioners complete station induction and training sessions, begin their allotted tasks, and familiarise themselves with this great place. Now half the summer crew are down island acquainting themselves with soggy tracks and cosy field huts.
It ends all too soon for some, as the next ship due in a few days will take them away again.