This week Steve the Chippy gives us the low down...on a very big low!

Macca Cyclone

On Tuesday 21st of February the Southern Ocean was angry. Like a temperamental monster it didn't need a reason to spit the dummy and have a huge ocean tantrum. It just did it to remind all creatures whether human or not who is in charge. It woke up on the wrong side of bed and started blowing 50 knots. Waves swirled all around the bottom of the globe in a westerly direction building pace and size as they went. Foam flew through the air along with splashs from the water which promptly turned into small projectiles smashing everything in their path. Macquarie Island was one of those. A rock in the wrong place at the wrong time. Animals started to bunker down. Humans first, then the flying birds like terns and petrels, then the penguins decided to change their busy plans for the day. By lunch the storm was furious and started to blow up to 67 knots. It became the same strength as a category 1 cyclone.

The station personnel by and large hid from the blistering wind and rain. Having a crack every now and then to open a door only to be rudely slapped in the face by the storm. It was too much for most people. Macca the Plant Operator was given the devastating news the he was not able to work that day and to come in doors. He protested by saying that Darwin cops this sort of wind on a good day. No was the response. Get back inside. Watch the wind and the penguins flying past through the safety of a window. Penguins flying is something that hasn't happened for about 2 million years. It was even too wet for the seals.

However, there was one creature through all this commotion who stood tall. The kind of person that you can rely on in a cyclone. A true trooper. A man you want next to you in the trenches, who'll take the big hits on a footy field. A man named Butchy. A day shy of his 50th birthday he didn't blink an eye when it came to fulfilling his duty with the Bureau of Meteorology. He faced the storm and said, "not today Pal". He filled his balloon like he does daily and ventured into the storm. The wind wasn't going to take this lightly. It blew twice as hard to claim our weatherman to the Southern Ocean. But Butchy curled his toes and hung on to the balloon at the edge of the road and released it. It broke the storm's spirit. Butchy was cheered by everyone including the wildlife. The storm was humiliated and started to wind down. The wildlife came back out and Macca could get back to work.

Steve, Macca Chippy.