This summer, Macquarie Island has received nine tourist ship visits from Heritage Expedition’s Spirit of Enderby (which carries about 60 tourists) and Silversea's Silver Explorer (which carries about 100 tourists). Last week we also had a visit from an unusual boat, the privately owned Polish (London registered) yacht Katharsis II. Katharsis II, with nine Polish sailors aboard including the owner couple, is en route to the Ross Sea area where they hope to visit the Bay of Whales (in the vicinity of Amundsen's base on the Ross Ice Shelf) and the historic huts of Scott and Shackleton in the Ross Sea.
These hardy adventurers had obtained the necessary Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service paperwork to visit Macca on the way down from Hobart, and spent two days with us. TASPAWS rangers Chris and Mike guided them around Sandy Bay to see the wildlife there, and around the isthmus including a station visit. We were very happy to have the opportunity to invite them to dinner on station last Friday night, and a memorable night was enjoyed by all. We are now following their progress with interest, and three days after leaving here they have made great progress to reach 61 degrees south. The boat and her owners are experienced polar sailors, having previously sailed to the Antarctic Peninsula and transitted the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. On the return trip to Europe, they hope to transit the Northwest Passage “in reverse”, ie west to east.