The winter weather has settled in nicely here at Macca. Snowfalls continued into the middle of the week on the plateau, offering some interesting walking conditions for some of us who have been out and about.
Jacque and Louise ventured down to Green Gorge with their quilting project packed in their packs. Rich, Justin and Lou headed out to Bauer Bay for the long weekend, and our rangers, assisted by Duncan, embarked on some day trips to North Head to monitor grey petrel burrows.
This week we also undertook the census of the king penguin chicks at Gadgets gully. This is a deceptively tricky task which involves watching the chicks through binoculars and clicking a ‘clicker’ each time you count one. Sounds simple but they waddle around and flap about, both confusing your counting and making you giggle all at once.
World Environment Day was celebrated on station with a BBQ dinner and education night at the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife offices. Andrea and Anna, our rangers, hosted us and presented an interesting session on various Macquarie Island sea birds, and banding and tagging of wildlife. A marine debris clean-up picnic was proposed for the northern featherbed for Saturday, however it was postponed due to some less than splendid weather arriving.
Justin hosted ‘Pasta and Trivia Night’ to kick off the Queen’s Birthday weekend, which saw expeditioners divide into teams to compete (some more fiercely than others), for the trivia crown. An entertaining evening of fun facts and silly antics prevailed, and a great time was had by all. Rich even radioed in from Bauer Bay hut to deliver a bonus points round.
Excitement on station is building around our upcoming midwinter celebrations and swim. Some are practicing acts for the entertainment portion of the evening, whilst others seem to be off working on ‘secret projects’.
Finally, in the words of A.B. Patterson: “there was movement at the station for the word had got around”. The word — and we have no idea what that word actually is — is out amongst the elephant seals this week. Our isthmus inhabiting friends have become rather active and have started posturing and ‘play’ fighting, usually in the middle of the road when Nick needs to get a machine out, or at 2030 at night when our BoM observers are trying to get back down to the balloon shed to do the evening balloon release. The gate now stays firmly closed, lest they are planning a takeover of sorts.