Last weekend saw the first launching of the station boats at Macca for this season, with an overcast and damp day – but ‘good’ boating conditions by Macquarie Island standards.
Launching watercraft on the island is not a simple or easy task, with a considerable amount of safety gear to be packed and checked off, the boats themselves to be prepared with fuel and their own set of checks and cross checks, then getting together a boat crew, launch and retrieve folk and finally somebody back on station to provide comms support.
The day involved the delivery of new batteries to Brothers Point hut to replace some failed (and heavy) older ones that were too cumbersome to be walked into the hut from station. The sparkies will visit there on foot again shortly, to do the final install and once again bring light, comms and music to the little outpost at Brothers Point.
The boating crew then picked up Matt who had overnighted at the hut, and cruised on to Green Gorge, which is at the southern limit of our boating area, to drop off more supplies and importantly pick up a very special member of the Macca wintering crew…. Stay the Expo Dog. Stay had been enjoying some ‘me’ time at Green Gorge hut, since the helicopter pilots left her there during resupply.
The last job for the boaters was to drop off supplies for the Rangers at Sandy Bay on the way back home, where they could be stashed above the high water mark for use later in the year. The boat trip was also a good chance for members of the station's SAR team to get some experience on the vessels, and see some of the access sites that could be used to collect injured expeditioners from the coast, if ever the need arose, and get them safely back to station.
The crew were treated to a visit from a pod of Orcas while out and about and got to see the island from a different perspective…’looking back’ from sea onto the epic, green, towering landscape with waterfalls thundering down the slopes and moody clouds cloaking the tops of the escarpments.
Then it was back home, a slick recovery of both vessels by McGivor and Gary our boat recovery duo, a thorough wash down for boats and boaters, all in time for our special Saturday night ‘Ding’ produced by Kim the Chef.
All in all, a great way to spend the day on Macca.