A new crew takes on the Big Green Sponge

Resupply, refuel, rain and recess at Macquarie Island

The Macca resupply has rolled into the second week, with the MPOV AIVIQ being a visual reminder of our temporary connection to the world back home.

The constant activity continued around station, with the Southern Ocean finally allowing a window of opportunity for refueling to take place, a critical requirement that the weather had prohibited up until now. That same evening saw the 76th ANARE team officially take the reins and farewell from station the few remaining members of the outgoing crew.

The Bureau team settled into their new environment and workspace, continuing with weather observations, balloon launches and the ozone program. While the wind and swell may have eased briefly, our rain gauge was filled to the brim, with Macca recording the second wettest day on record, a subtle reminder to everyone why the island is affectionately referred to as the ‘Big Green Sponge’!

The pending departure of the ship also coincided with the station slipping into the Operational Recess period with training kicking-off for the Technical SAR Team, Fire Teams, Lay Surgical Team and station coxswains. Once this training is complete the new inhabitants will be able to explore the island, fulfilling both work requirements and recreational activities.

An unusually clear evening and active Aurora Australis also provided a light show, especially exciting for those new to the program who hadn’t observed this mesmerising phenomenon before.

The AIVIQ’s departure was celebrated by traditional means of station personnel gathering and firing off a few flares.

Farewell shipmates and may you have ‘fair winds and following seas’.

-Damien Everett (Weather Observer BoM)