Unlike continental Antarctica, Macquarie Island is still home to many animals. Walking around the station you will still see penguins, seals and birds every day. The shorter days prevalent at this time of year do however, promote a more paced lifestyle. It is not uncommon to see a penguin with its head drooped in slumber. During the day, smaller petrels are snugly snoozing in their burrows. Young elephant seals lie about on the beach or among tussock grass and dream the day away.
So too do the other migratory species that inhabit the station. Expeditioners enjoy cosy, comfortable heated rooms to rest at night. Macca today has a number of buildings that can accommodate the needs of sleepy people. Southern Aurora donga, built in the 1960’s, is still warm, snug and closest to the mess. It is similar to the living accommodation built at stations in Antarctica during that early period.
Newer constructions are Garden Cove, Hasselborough House and Cumpston’s Cottage. All the buildings provide individual rooms with windows and the usual bedroom furniture, albeit compact in nature. Most of the rooms have a slightly different arrangement so that no two appear exactly alike.
My room has basic personalisation in the form of books, papers, photos, shoes, towels, dirty clothes and a picture on the wall. The more creative and imaginative have decorated rooms in an individualistic style that makes them pleased to call their room ‘home’. Whatever the décor, at the end of the day, all the migratory expeditioners retire to the comfort of their beds to enter the land of dreams.
By Norbert Trupp