Happy Birthday to Marion75 Team member – Michelle Thompson

Marion Island, Sub-Antarctic, South African Islands

On behalf of ALSA and all involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme, we would like to wish Michelle Thompson (Field Assistant – Birder M75) a Happy Birthday today.

This will be the last team member of M75 we wish happy birthday to, as this team returned back to Cape Town a few days ago! All the best for your future guys! Marion Island, Birhdays

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 19 May 2019

Welcome home Marion75 and take-over personnel

The S.A. Agulhas II arrived in Cape Town yesterday, 15 May 2019, after being away for 34 days.

The vessel returned with the 75th Marion Island overwintering team, all take-over scientists (land-and ship based) and take-over personnel.

Marion75 departed last year on 06 April 2018 and they are now reunited with family and friends after approximately 13 months.

Click here to see who was on this team and more about the different scientific groups (land-and ship based).

Note that there are more institutions involved in take-over science on the island, not mentioned in this video such as the Biocomplexity Project (University of Johannesburg) and Observing Dawn in the Cosmos (University of KwaZulu Natal). These projects does not have personnel overwintering on the island.

Marion75 and take-over personnel, addressed by the Deputy Director-General Oceans and Coasts, Judy Beaumont:

 

Marion75, M75, Marion Island, Overwintering Team

L-R (front): Dakalo Gangashe (Base Engineer), Maliviwe Mnengisa (Medic/Team leader), Zinhle Shongwe (Assistant meteorologist), Stephan Keys (Birder), Dani Keys (Birder), Dineo Mogashoa (Winder/Botanist); (middle) Oyena Masiko (Birder), Vhulahani Manukha (Space Engineer), Mavis Lekhesa (Radio Technician), Michael Taunyane (Diesel Mechanic / Deputy Team Leader). Sechaba Nyaku (Senior Meteorologist). Michelle Thompson (Birder). Monica Leitner (Assistant ECO), Liezl Pretorius (Sealer/Deputy Science Team Leader), Elsa van Ginkel (Winder/Botanist), Bongekile Kuhlase (Botanist); (back) Abuyiselwe Nguna (Geomorphologist/Science Team Leader), Jabulani Thabede (Chef), James Burns (Assistant meteorologist), Charlotte Heijnis (Senior ECO), Sean Morar (Birder). Welly Qwabe (Sealer), Michael Voysey (Killer whaler/sealer), Marike Louw (Botanist).

 

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 16 May 2019.

Happy Birthday to Marion75 Team member – Bongekile Kuhlase

Marion Island, Sub-Antarctic, South African Islands

On behalf of ALSA and all involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme, we would like to wish Bongekile Kuhlase (Botanical Field Assistant of M75) a Happy Birthday today.

Marion Island

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 04 May 2019

Marion Island March 2019 newsletter now available

Greetings from the M75 team to all our friends and families!

Where have the days gone?! March, our last full month alone on Marion, has flown by! For many of the field assistants, the work has slowed down substantially as the final tasks are being ticked off. For others, there is still quite a lot that needs to be squeezed into these final days. And, on the other hand, there are some (including the sealers) whose work has continued uninterrupted as is the case with base personnel who need to keep the ball rolling until we’ve boarded the ship home.

In between our duties however, the big clean-up has begun. All the huts have been tackled by the field assistants and back at base everyone is pitching in to make sure that everything is ready for take-over. Apart from the general base skivvy, we have all been busy packing up our own rooms too; as the total population of Marion explodes from 24 to over a hundred (with all the scientists and maintenance crew), we will soon be bunking with each other and the new M76 team while they find their feet.

Outside, island life goes on, oblivious to our bustling preparations. The wandering albatross which dot the landscape continue with their inredible life cycle and the fur-seal pups are venturing further and further from comfort as they grow at a rate. The winter leaves sap in the fading sunlight and the mountains are beginning to try on their winter coats.

We are sad to announce that this edition of The Wanderer (March 2019) will in all likelihood be our last. The next few weeks are undoubtedly going to be very chaotic and there will be little time to spare before we board the S.A. Agulhas II to go home. It has been a massive privilege to bring you these insights to our fantastic adventure in this paradise! We hope that you’ve enjoyed them as we have and that these newsletters can become part of M75’s legacy and serve to inspire future expeditions and explorers!

Authors: Elsa van Ginkel (Editor) and James Burns (Co-Editor), 75th Marion Island Overwintering Team, 16 April 2019 (received 13 April 2019)

Click here to view all the Marion Island newsletters available on the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa Archive.

Happy Birthday to Marion75 Team member – Melford Mnengisa

Marion Island, Sub-Antarctic, South African Islands

On behalf of ALSA and all involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme, we would like to wish Melford Mnengisa (Medical Orderly of M75) a Happy Birthday today.

Marion Island

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 05 April 2019

Happy Birthday to Marion75 Team member – Sechaba Nyaku

Marion Island, Sub-Antarctic, South African Islands

On behalf of ALSA and all involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme, we would like to wish Sechaba Nyaku (Senior Meteorological Technician of M75) a Happy Birthday today.

Marion Island

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 29 March 2019

Marion Island February 2019 newsletter now available

Marion Island, Newsletter

Greetings to the friends, families and followers of the M75 team!Marion Island, Newsletter

And so goes the second month of the not-so-new-anymore year. It has been another wonderful month on this incredible island! The Christmas trees (correction: one of the Christmas trees) have just been packed away and the base is visibly tensing for the onslaught of the upcoming take-over month. The new M76 team has started training in Cape Town and we are all getting ready to show them the ropes when they arrive. But despite the approaching conclusion to our adventure, we have still been having a fantastic time here in paradise!

Winter is coming, and fast! February saw a very noticable shift in weather as the winds pick up, temperatures drop and the interior recieves a regular dusting of white. Field workers have been busy as the last of many of the newest generation of island birds leave their nests and the fur seal pups grow at an alarming rate. The iconic wandering albatross have mostly settled down and the first few chicks have even hatched. There is still a lot of work to do, both outside and in the lab, before the ship arrives. We have been in high spirits back at base and still enjoy our weekly braais, a couple of birthdays and other fun events.

This edition of The Wanderer (February 2019) is packed with great photos and the amazing experiences that we have been enjoying here! We hope you enjoy them all too!

Kind regards,
the Wanderer Editing team

Authors: Elsa van Ginkel (Editor) and James Burns (Co-Editor), 75th Marion Island Overwintering Team, 19 March 2019 (received 14 March 2019)

 

Click here to view all the Marion Island newsletters available on the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa Archive.

Happy Birthday to Marion75 Team member (Cook) – Jabulani Thabede

Marion Island, Sub-Antarctic, South African Islands

On behalf of ALSA and all involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme, we would like to wish Jabulani Thabede (Cook of  M75) a Happy Birthday today.

This is the first overwintering team with a full-time cook on the team.

Marion Island, Team, Overwintering Team, Birthdays

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 18 March 2019

Marion Island December newsletter now available

Marion Island, Newsletters, sub-Antarctic, Overwintering Team

Greetings to the friends, families and followers of the M75 team!

Marion Island, Newsletters, sub-Antarctic, Overwintering Team

The last month of 2018 was a memorable one! Starting the festivities early in the month with decorations, the excitement built up steadily to Christmas day and we had an amazing time! Movie marathons, fun teamwork in the kitchen, potjies, presents, a secret santa and more made for a jolly season indeed. Unfortunately no snow on Christmas but we enjoyed some great sunny and calm days instead, summer finally arrived!

The team hasn’t stopped working and, between all the celebrations, fieldworkers have been out and about with lots to be done as the breeding season continues. Everything is still running smoothly at base although there is a definite mindset shift in the team as takeover approaches.

We apologise for the delayed distribution but we hope you all enjoy our latest edition of the Wanderer (December 2018)! We wish everyone the best for the upcoming year and thank you once again for supporting us from afar!

Kind regards,
the Wanderer Editing team

Click here to view all the Marion Island newsletters available on the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa Archive.

Author: James Burns, 75th Marion Island Overwintering Team (Meteorological Observer), 05 February 2019 (received 12 January 2019)

Marion Island October newsletter now available

Greetings to all from our little island down south

We have had a great month here on Marion! October has been very productive for the field assistants and the huts have been experiencing a steady stream of visitors and some have been housing long term residents where there is lots to do nearby. Back at base all is running smoothly and we are all kept warm and well fed!

We hope you enjoy this edition of the Wanderer (October 2018) and that it gives you all a taste of our fantastic experience here!

Please click here to view all M75’s newsletters written so far.

 

Author: James Burns, 75th Marion Island Overwintering Team (Meteorological Observer), 19 November 2018