"He found a rabbit…" I said to Nick, our ever-reliable Chef.
"A RABBIT!" exclaimed Parks Ranger Kim.
"Did someone say rabbit?" chimed Ranger in Charge, Ro.
"Yeah, Brownie found one." I replied.
Brownie is our station plumber, and had found the near perfectly preserved remains of a rabbit underneath one of our buildings whilst repairing a pipe from the station coffee machine. (Probably the hardest working equipment on station).
Rabbits hadn’t been seen on the island since a successful pest eradication program in 2011.
The Rangers had a sigh of relief.
Just at that moment the station radio crackled to life. It was our fearless station leader Derek, who had caught something out the corner of his eye. His office overlooks one of the many beautiful bays on the island.
"All station, all station, Orca in the bay at Garden Cove!" Derek announced.
The place burst into action as everyone scrambled to gather cameras and get up to the old Ham Radio shack, which is poised upon a rocky point, providing a perfect vantage point to the waters below.
Billy, our Field Training Officer was the first one to the shack, fit as a fiddle from the countless miles she had covered on the island.
Next was Jeff, our communications technician, followed by station Doctor Rob.
The three of them didn’t seem nearly as puffed as I did when I finally got to the top of the stairs, but I guess you could put that down to the island. Spend enough time here and you become Macca Fit!
Lewis, our station electrician and Milsy, our station diesel mechanic, stayed on the rocky shore below, dodging elephant seals and penguins whilst in amazement and ore of the spectacle in front of us.
Three Orca swam countless laps of the bay, then as soon as they appeared, they were gone again. Heading South, on the hunt for their next meal presumably.
At that point our Bureau of Meteorology team, Layla, Will and Tony, stepped out their front door to watch them swim by.
Later that day, at lunch time, we were telling our three strong team of carpenters of the tale. Conrad, also our deputy station leader and site services manager, Scottish and Ray, had missed the action because they were down the island building a new magnetic quiet zone. (Part of the station rebuild project). "Oh well." said Scottish. Someone has to work around here, knowing full well he had seen them only the day before. It is an amazing sight though.
At this point, Ryan our stores and cargo officer walked in asking what he had missed?
He had been toiling away all day in an attempt to ensure everything was ready for the yearly station resupply.
"Not a whole lot for a day on Macca mate." said Ray.
"Fair enough, this place is wild!" replied Ryan, before turning to me and asking, "what do you think is on the menu for dinner?"
I looked at him and said, "rabbit stew."
Macca Resupply is in full swing with LARC, Boat, IRB and Helicopter operations working in conjunction to restock and service the station and field huts.
A sometimes slow and tedious task, the weather has been somewhat kind to us so far and holds us in good stead of a successful and complete operation.
With the arrival of the ship, came the 75th ANARE. Meet and greet has been done and now station handover is being conducted. Another group of likable and like-minded people, about to create their own adventures and memories.
Unfortunately, this means the time of the 74th ANARE is almost at its end. Thanks for the memories Macca, stay WILD!
From Cookie and your friendly neighbourhood Macca crew