If you get the opportunity to spend a little time on magnificent Macquarie Island, you’ll appreciate just how wild it can get and not only from the elements but the wildlife as well.
As I sit writing, we're having a mild day with showers and a light breeze of 35 knots. Looking out of the trades office window, there is an abundance of critters. A few lazy Beachmasters (male elephant seals) are sleeping and waiting, as further up the beach a harem of over 250 cows with pups has gathered. There are a few Gentoo penguins making their way up as well. This has got to be the best view from any office window, worldwide, in my opinion.
When the weather clears slightly, expeditioners are usually keen to get off station and into the field huts for a little R&R and this is exactly what Pete M and I managed to do a couple of weeks ago. After a relaxing 4.5hr hike, we arrived at Green Gorge Hut. Green Gorge is a special place with one of the slightly better views than from the trades office. The beach at this time of year is where wildlife are right at your doorstep.
With your pack off, followed by the usual ritual of hitting the spot tracker buttons and radioing in, the kettle goes on. From the front deck you can enjoy your hot beverage of choice, watching king penguins march up the beach. You can listen to the noises of the harem of elephant seals, who do not sleep, apparently, as they seem just as noisy at 12am as at 12pm.
Alas, now we must wait for a couple of weeks for the next opportunity to venture down island as we prepare the station for our newest arrivals for summer and bid those that are heading home safe passage and bon voyage.