The last Station Update for Macca 74th ANARE

Our time is up

We’ve had a fantastic year after arriving on 3 March 2021. Now, 380 days later on 21 March 2022, we hand the reins over to Pete and the crew of the 75th ANARE.

But it's not just about the wintering crew. We were joined by a fantastic team for summer who quickly became part of our team and it feels like they’ve been with us since Day 1.

Our actual departure date is still to be confirmed, but the time for us to relax and for the new team to start their year has begun. After a year away from our homes, friends and family it's a time we intend to savour as we reflect upon the year that has been.

Living and working on Macca is an emotional experience. This place gets under your skin if you let it. I think this is why so many people keep coming back – whether that be for a full season, summer stint or round trip to support the annual resupply. It's an amazing place and your time here provides an invisible yet enduring thread that binds us to the island.

To deliver these weekly updates over the year, many of the team have applied all sorts of creative writing techniques, inspired by the people, wildlife and environment that goes into making the Macca experience. I’ve attempted it myself during the year but I keep coming back to some prose on a piece of faded paper, stuck to the wall at Bauer Bay Hut. Bauer Bay was at the end of Day 1 on everyone’s first field trip back in March/April. Straight away I saw the note and made an immediate connection to it and I’ve constantly come back to the Hut to re-read those words to reflect. I didn’t know who Edward Abbey was until I read this prose and ever since I’ve found it a very powerful piece of philosophy that keeps bringing me back to what is actually important in life. It inspired me and it carries well the sentiment held by those of the 74th ANARE. Read and enjoy.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am ‘a reluctant enthusiast’, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.

So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.

I promise you this, You will outlive the bastards.”

Edward Abbey

From Derek Stevens, Station Leader of the 74th ANARE and your friendly neighbourhood Macca crew