Ensuring COVID safety and a meet and greet with a plumber

The End Is Nigh for the 73rd

How quickly did that go? A full year on the big green sponge is almost over for the 73rd ANARE. With L'Astrolabe due to arrive next week with the new team and a year's worth of supplies, the current crew have been running around like a group of hungry penguins trying to get last minute field trips in, as well as preparing the station for the new arrivals.

Like the rest of the world, Macca has also been affected by Covid-19. Not in the sense that anyone has the virus on the island, but our resupply has been affected dramatically with safe distancing and extra precautions enforced during the station handover. The incoming and outgoing teams have been working tirelessly alongside the Kingston staff to ensure that the handover runs as smoothly and as safely as possible.

For the current Macca crew (I’ve heard some people say the much better-looking team) this has given us a chance to flex some creative thinking and problem solving skills, to come up with ideas on how we keep separation between the teams until the quarantine period is completed. This had led to the station being split into two separate precincts. The boat shed and biology building have been converted into a new common area and social hub for the 74th and boat crew, with the normal mess area left for the 73rd. Additionally, we have a separation of accommodation buildings between the crews. The rest of the team, not involved in the setup, have been busily scrubbing, sorting and tidying every other liveable surface on the island to make sure the new team come in to a sparkly clean home.

Even with the separation our guys are very much looking forward to welcoming the new team as they arrive at their new home next week, with a few hugs and handshakes booked in for day 14, when everyone is declared Covid safe!

Let's meet the projects plumber Fitzy

Hi my name is Craig Fitzmaurice, everyone calls me Fitzy. I’m here at Macquarie as part of the projects team, as a plumber.

It has been a crazy ride the 2020/21 season. After sailing out of the Derwent River in early March 2020, we then watched the Covid-19 situation explode behind us.

This is my fourth winter having wintered at Casey in 2009/10 and 2019, and also at Davis for the 2016/17 seasons.

I have had so many amazing unique experiences here at Macquarie. The untouched beauty of this place that time has forgotten is truly spectacular. The wildlife moments have been magical, with memories that will last with me for forever.

I would like to say to my 2020 wintering friends, thank you for your friendship and support throughout the year, it has been a remarkable journey.

Sometimes in life you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.