Traveling down the island by boats, to resupply huts and transport expos

Down island resupply

Taking advantage of a small window of opportunity, three Zodiacs cut cleanly through the deep blue sea of the Southern Ocean in a bid to resupply much needed down island huts on the east coast of Macquarie Island.

Akin to the plans of a NATO deployment, Pete P (Station Leader) orchestrated a symphony of movements deploying food, science equipment and expeditioners, to Bauer Bay hut, Brothers Point hut, Green Gorge hut and Waterfall Bay hut.

Gently resting the nose of the Zodiac on the polished pebbles of Sandy Bay Beach, the team, which included; Greg B, Gonzo, Rhys, Maggie, Shane, Pete M, Tanya, Dom, Al, Kaely, Gaz and Craig I - quickly unloaded vital piping and plumbing for the long trek over the island to Bauer Bay hut. Tens of kilos of equipment will be pack hauled over tussock woven paths to re-establish water facilities to the hut. While on the beach crew quickly collected lake water samples for the SAEF (Securing Antarctica’s Environmental furture) science team measuring climate change.

Onward and further south into the Southern Ocean, Green Gorge hut loomed in the distance through a ghostly misty morning. Another Zodiac again kissed the polished pebbles of the beach before being hauled by the crew to a safe point for unloading. A heavy lake coring device was carried up the beach and stashed near the hut for later deployment into the depths of the tarn behind Green Gorge.

Safely back on the water, king penguins and giant petrels muse at the antics of these humans staying afloat, still with building materials bulging the pontoons of a Zodiac the team set south for the safe landing site north of Waterfall Bay hut. With pinpoint accuracy coxswains carved a path through long tangled sea weed to rest the Zodiacs on glass shiny rocks speckled with barnacles. Timber panels, a ladder and flashing for a roof were carefully packed on a marble like beach difficult to stand on. Strong, young and fit carpenters loaded with gear, disappeared into the tussock for the short trek to Waterfall Bay hut.

With the resupply complete, three Zodiacs punched through a low sloppy chop with the heart-warming sense of a hot brunch waiting for them back at station. A successful morning resupply and a fantastic short adventure on the blue seas of Macquarie Island.

Greg B (AKA Birdman)

SCTO Summer 2022/23