Snow, swell and 50 knot winds: A late May resupply in the Furious Fifties 20 May 2024

Australian Antarctic Division

It’s a wild time of year, weather-wise, at Macquarie Island which sits at 54° 30′ south. Although the view of the snow-covered plateau is breathtaking it’s making this year’s resupply a challenge. When RSV Nuyina arrived a week ago, there were 500 tonnes of cargo on board and 250,000 litres of fuel.

High winds played havoc with work schedules early on, but the Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo boats (LARCs) and helicopters have now shifted two thirds of that cargo.

“It’s a really challenging environment that’s always changing so we have to be very mindful of the weather conditions and have a good network of support including weather forecasting,” Helicopter Resources pilot Dave Paton said.

“The highest mountain on Macquarie Island is just over 400 metres and those winds come straight off the ocean so there’s a lot of mechanical turbulence associated with that.”

/Public Release. View in full here.