Name: Richard Youd
Nicknames: Rich, Richo, Youdy
Previous seasons: Davis winter 2012/13 followed by a cheeky Mawson summer 2013/14 as Communications Technical Officer — an amazing 17 month stint!
Job: Supervising Communications Technical Officer (SCTO)
Hobbies: Being out in the elements rock climbing, diving, bushwalking, mountain biking, running. Oh, and watching movies.
You have recently finished a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. How do you compare the operating environment in the field here at Macca to what you would encounter in Tassie?
That’s a tricky one. I've spent most of my Tassie adventuring time on the sunny east coast with the odd adventure up onto the central plateau and into the south west. I’d say the wind is certainly more constant here on Macca and at least 87% of our days here have precipitation in usually more than one form: rain, hail, snow, graupel, ice pellets, low mist and cloud (again). So in reality it’s probably not much different than living at altitude on the northern west coast of Tassie. One of the best bits here is you can walk off the beach and in 30 minutes feel like you are walking through the frozen alpine regions. So really we have all the Tassie goodness condensed into a tiny 35km long package. And like Tassie, we get all four seasons in one day, and by that I mean four seasons in an hour, and by that I mean blue skies and ten knots to white-out snow, hail and 45 knots in two blinks of an eye. LOVE IT! We’re on Macquarie Island, WOOO!
What is the favourite part of your job here at Macca?
It sounds kind of lame, but the small community vibe and helping each other to get the job done is actually the thing that attracted me to becoming a repeat offender. But mostly, the opportunity to leave the office, get off station to do work in the field is second to none!
If you were exiled to Bishop and Clerk Islands to the south of Macca what four things would you take with you?
Fishing rod and gear, MSR stove, bivvy bag, and all the chocolate.
What song sums up your Macquarie Island experience so far?
The entire Eddie Vedder Into the Wild soundtrack, thanks to its high-repeat play on ‘Slushy FM’ and just because it’s awesome!
Favourite element of the Macca weather?
The high energy storm cells that blast over the island turn the aforementioned blue skies to white-out conditions. Speaking of which, yep, the snow is pelting down outside right now.
What actor would play you in a film version of our 68th ANARE season here at Macca?
Without a doubt, Alan Tudyk (he plays Wash, the pilot from Serenity and Firefly).
Favourite hut or walking route?
Walking along the escarpment above Soucek Bay in the glorious afternoon sun (just magic!) and the track crossings of Red River and Jessie Niccol Creek (because they remind me of my childhood fishing adventures with my dad and brother).
If you were not a Comms Tech Officer what would be your dream job?
Himalayan Mountain Guide
Favourite piece of AAD/Tas Parks kit?
Satellite phones, way easier to use than a HF radio! And the batteries are lighter too.
It is the year 2115 on Macca. What is the coolest thing we have on station and why?
Embedded personal sat phones so that VHF radio comms are no longer required.
Please name the royal penguin on our 68th ANARE logo.
What is your typical Slushy FM genre? A particular favourite?
If I am not rocking out to Pearl Jam, The Hilltop Hoods or The Tragically Hip, I’m probably digging some Ministry of Sound Chillout Sessions.
Describe your Macca experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.
Insta-plateau whiteout, fresh bread (not burnt toast), the pterodactyl-like squawk of a giant petrel, the post-run adrenalin buzz, victory at life?
Settlers of Catan, or Darts?
I will Settle this argument once and for all…