Where’s Brian, Macca brewing and grey petrel monitoring

A busy week

This week saw us completing our first Search and Rescue (SAR) exercise. Our mission was to find our fictional trouble-making colleague “Brian”. Brian had not turned up to muster after a tsunami alarm. Armed with GPS and radios we split up into teams to search the station and surrounds in a very coordinated fashion. Our Comms Tech, Station Leader and Field Training Officer (FTO) provided vital coordination and support from the mess. When Brian was eventually found, mid-nap, on the beach at Hasselborough Bay, medical assistance was provided as well as a stretcher carry back to the surgery. The latest report is that Brian will make a full recovery after the successful rescue.

At Australia’s southernmost brewery, under the watchful eye of brew-master extraordinaire Millsy, we bottled our first brew. Stand-out local flavours we are looking forward to tasting include the delicate ‘Fire Team Light’, the robust ‘Macca Real Ale’ and 'Black Forest Stout'.

This week for our season's first wildlife monitoring task, we commenced grey petrel monitoring. Macquarie Island is the only known breeding location of grey petrels in Australia. They were originally recorded on the island in 1900, however were not seen again until after cats were eradicated from Macca. There is now thought to be approximately 50 breeding pairs on the island. Monitoring involved wildlife ranger Kim and I scrambling around the steep slopes of North Head to search for active burrows and installing motion detector cameras.

Field training gets underway this week. We are all looking forward to getting off station to learn about things such as featherbeds, bogs, jumpdowns and buzzies.

Shelley Graham (Ranger in Charge) RIC and your friendly neighbourhood Macca crew.