Sporting colour to brighten people's spirits

Let's Get Tropical

Tropical Fridays are becoming a treasured tradition here on Macquarie Island.

I’ll elaborate and don’t worry, the concept is simple.

Every Friday we all put aside the hard yakka and sport some clothing hitting more points on the rainbow. When initially suggested, the crew needed a bit of convincing, although it has to be said that Conrad was immediately on board. No surprise considering he’s from Queensland and is chemically composed of 2 parts pineapple juice, 1 part sugarcane juice and 3 parts optimism. Others really took issue with the fake plastic flower garlands....but we’ve moved through this as a team.

Some of the tropical getups are quite formal and refined, like Brownie’s cool surfing penguin shirt. Other shirts look like unicorn vomit. Both are good. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t actually need to be Friday either. Full tropical garb is appropriate for many kinds of occasions, such as smoko or dress-up parties, regardless of the theme. In my experience people who take issue with Tropical Fridays are always found to have low vitamin D and probably also scurvy.

The positive impact a bit of colour has on station morale is hard to dispute. Fridays historically are such a drag, but now everyone has a spring in their step. We breeze through the day with collective tropical ease. Suddenly a wallow waft has hints of fragrant frangipani, a self-composting kelp heap smells like a delectable piña colada. On Fridays no pipeline is too frozen, no boatshed too rickety and no telehandler too bogged. There are always excitable elephant seals trubbalubbing along the isthmus and petrels screeching out a Jimmy Buffett number. It’s pretty much Waikiki.

It goes without saying that the harsh realities of sub-Antarctic island life can be a bit weathering on the soul. Much better to partition off a bit of time each week to mentally escape to the hibiscusy realities of tropical island paradise life. To Kauai, to the Seychelles, to the Gold Coast.

I’m glad I’ve been able to help the crew find fruitier versions of themselves. While I don’t want to take full credit, it is all because of me.

- Anon