Christmas and the New Year have been celebrated in traditional style at Macquarie Island. Our wonderful chef Kerryn surpassed herself by providing a great Christmas brunch followed by a superb evening meal with all the trimmings. Santa (a.k.a. plumber Shane) appeared on schedule in a sleigh drawn by our one station vehicle. Shane did a great job as the jolly fellow, and didn’t even need a fake beard. Wildlife rangers Mel and Drew assisted as elves. We exchanged “secret Santa” gifts and a very enjoyable day was had by all.
We also celebrated the New Year appropriately with a barbeque and (very safe) bonfire outside the Green Store, and a good number of us stayed up to see in the New Year. Aside from the season’s celebrations, we have had a busy week or so with our usual station work activities which don’t stop at Christmas time. Additionally, the rangers assisted by station crew volunteers have been busy looking after several tourist ship visits, our rangers have also maintained a busy field program, and a number of us have been able to get off station to walk to our field huts and complete stocktakes of hut food holdings. This is an essential step as we start to work towards our annual station resupply in a few short months.
Several expeditioners here have fires burning uncomfortably close at home in Australia, including some with family members evacuated, and we send our thoughts to all who have been affected.