Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sub Antarctic Diversions

This month finds me on Macquarie Island strung in the Southern Ocean between Tasmania and the southern tip of New Zealand. I landed here in early February when heading south on the Orion and just as I lamented how short the stop had been, I got an email with an opportunity to spend April on the island. Well here I am now and the bike is still in the shed.

We came south on the L'Astrolabe and yesterday reached the halfway point in the resupply with the unloading of the tractor. The wind eased yesterday but is building again. It seems winter is on its way with much shorter days than February and fewer breaks of good weather. The sun breaks through occasionally, usually after a front and it is nice to enjoy its brightness if not its warmth.

A fantastic aurora formed across the sky last night. It was one of the best I have seen but it only failed to get a perfect score because it didnt produce the greens and evemn reds that can sometimes be seen

All going to plan the LAstrolabe will be unloaded by Saturday and we will bid her farewell. Then we will be free to explore the island, hoping that the icebreaker Aurora Australis does not arrive to quickly. She will bring helicopters, rabbit baits and fuel but more significantly will take us home and mark the end of our time here. Lets hope they dont arrive too soon as there is plenty for us to see yet!