This week on Macca has been a busy one with everyone taking full advantage of a break in the weather now, after high winds and cold temperatures earlier in the week. A pleasant dusting of snow adorned the plateau over the weekend, and temperatures stayed mostly below zero. This first real cold snap since our arrival in April had us scrambling for extra layers of clothes. Granny rugs and doonas are now a permanent accessory in the cinema. Some of our water pipes are starting to freeze up, but never for too long, so far.
On Saturday night we celebrated the first harvest from hydroponics, with a salad bowl of delicious lettuce, and some of our fresh basil adorning Marion’s barley salad. Louise and Jacque are now bringing more tanks online to handle our burgeoning crop of tomato plants.
Our waste incinerator ‘Warren’ finally has its new flue installed. The old one has been scheduled for replacement since arrival here in April, but the weather has hampered the installation thus far. Thankfully the old flue literally hung in there through the recent high winds. On Monday morning the old flue was removed and the new one installed. Nick, Mark and Ben were happy to have a favourable weather window for getting the job done.
Works on the Wireless Hill walking track continue, with an upgraded handrail being installed, and guide markers from the top of the track to the tsunami cache pegged in. This track leaves station just behind Cumpstons Cottage by Garden Cove, past the seismic hut, and then up to the top of Wireless Hill, and provides access to the VHF repeater. The rangers also use this track to access the special management areas on North Head.
Our rangers have just returned from a two week trip down to the southern part of the island undertaking monitoring of seabird nesting sites. They faced all that Macca could threw at them this week, with snow, hail, gale force winds, and frozen water pipes all making field work and down island hut life interesting.
This week, the station remembered the loss of expeditioners Dick Hoseason and Alastair Forbes in 1952 on Heard Island. The flag flew at half mast on the isthmus.
National Reconciliation Week is being commemorated on station all week, and the Australian and Aboriginal Flags are flying proudly in the roaring fifties breeze.