Heading far south

Calm and sunny in Hobart.

The Aurora Australis is preparing to leave Hobart on a warm still autumn day. It looks like it will be a gentle cruise down the Derwent Estuary and across Storm Bay. We’re not expecting any bad weather for the first couple of days but things will get interesting as we approach Macquarie Island on Friday. It’s a race to get to the shelter of the island before a subantarctic storm arrives.

From all accounts the native vegetation of Macquarie Island has changed considerably since my last field trip two years ago. The plants continue to grow taller. Species previously considered rare or infrequent are popping up in abundance in the absence of grazing by rabbits.

The webcams on the ship will show where we are over the coming two weeks.