Station life at Macquarie Island: the game of Macca-opoly and getting to know the mechanic

The game of Macca-opoly

This week at Macca 1st April 1956 

I have chosen 1956 as it my birth year and this week’s due date for Icy News is April Fool’s Day.

Station Leader Log, Macquarie Island, Saturday April 1st, 1956.

Start of the month and all scientific staff busy on their monthly records. Harry Price is starting on a programme of renovation of his engine room. He is a marvellous worker. I was cook again today. I find the hard floor of the kitchen and will have to consult Jim Morgan on his return of ways and means of easing the strain. A very quiet day everybody out of sight and no sign of life outside but much work inside working huts.

This week at Macca, April 2020 

After the successful re-supply, we now have plenty of food, fuel and toilet paper along with all the materials for building projects, it was time to sort our accommodation. Macquarie Island is presently like a game on Monopoly.

All the utilities can be fully stocked but residents are seeking ‘Free Parking’ for their gear while the procedures for the works to the accommodation buildings are finalised. It is likely each accommodation building will not be able to be occupied during the construction period, in the meantime we are shuffling around like the tokens on a Monopoly board seeking out the best options to bed down for winter.

With everyone settled in their beds for now, all the re-supply stuff sorted and stowed, inductions and famils out of the way, it’s now time to get to work and figure out the important stuff; like how sharp the Macca Darts Team are (looking good and getting better).

Saturday was the inaugural Macca Social Wine Club gathering with fine fare prepared by Chef Arvid, all accompanied with an appropriated beverage. I’ll leave the vinicultural descriptions of the selected wines in our club to one of our more educated expeditioners for a later issue.

Joe Ahearn, Carpenter

Five minutes with Sealy from the 73rd ANARE Macca team

Name: William Seal 

Nickname: Sealy 

Where are you from?

Gladstone on the Central Coast of Queensland

Previous seasons?

Wintered at Davis in 2014–15 and Casey/Wilkins in 2016–17

Job title: Senior Diesel Mechanic (Dieso) and Deputy Station Leader, Lay Surgical Assistant, oh and station photographer as well

Describe your role in two sentences:

Internal combustion and motion specialist — I keep things running to support station operations. And I assist our Station Leader in the running of Macquarie Island station

What did you do before your joined the AAD?

Contracting in the mineral processing industry this time at home. Previously in defence and mining.

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

The walk to work, penguins are so inquisitive that they walk right up to you.

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

Working on high end luxury yachts.

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

Here has way more wildlife and very little snow so far so no real comparison, but I love working with the Australian Antarctic Program with the people that we share these amazing experiences with.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Photography here is awesome and very challenging.

What song sums up your Macca experience so far?

One of my songs which has not been released yet, but all will be revealed in good time.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 73st ANARE season here at Macca?

Mark Wahlberg

What is your favourite spot here at Macca and why?

The Ham Shack’s verandah for photography. You get up to the bird’s level as they wheel around that feature.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit?

This year it would have to be the rain jacket we get. Nice and warm and keeps you dry.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite?

Anything really, except thrash metal.

Describe your Macca experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste
Sight – The array of birdlife doing laps of the hills around station

Smell — My wife’s perfume still lingering in a jacket she wore in Hobart, much better than the Elephant Seal wallow on the way to Landing Beach

Sound — Gentoo penguins play nesting and courting

Feeling — Blown away by the rugged beauty of this place, oh and the wind

Taste — Anything that comes out of Arvid’s kitchen…’s all good food!

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you're right.” Henry Ford

Believe in yourself and the sky is the limit, assuming you have a supportive family which I luckily do.

William Seal (Sealy) Senior Expedition Mechanic

Interviewer: Troy Henderson, Station Communications Technical Officer