Marion Island Expedition Log #1

A new team steps forward to take the baton. 79th Marion Island Overwintering Team has completed a very busy take-over. Each of the twenty-one team members was introduced to their new roles on the island and have settled in. 

Wait, why are you reading about this? Well, let’s start at the beginning. Darling Brew was recently approached to contribute to the South African National Antarctic Programme’s (SANAP) 79th Marion Island Expedition for 2022/2023, and we just had to get on board! 

What is it? 

The South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) manages three stations - SANAE IV - located in Vesleskarvet, Antarctica; as well as Gough Island, and Marion Island. Marion Island is located in the Southern Indian Ocean, about 2000km from Cape Town and is home to a biological, environmental, and meteorological research centre. 

The station is occupied by teams who dedicate themselves to weather and climate studies, the interactions between marine and terrestrial systems, life histories and cycles of seals, seabirds and killer whales, and the structure and functioning of surrounding ecosystems. 

The teams are made up of station and communications engineers, mechanics, meteorological technicians, various field assistants, and support staff - including a chef and a medical professional. All of whom are essential to running the station, gathering data, and making sure the team stays healthy.

Why it's important

Countless scientific papers and post-graduate theses have origins in research from Marion Island. The kind of long-term monitoring taking place at stations like Marion Island gives us data on the rate and impacts of climate change as a result of global warming. As we well know by now, climate change is linked to an increase in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases which produces a warming effect. 

From 1990 to 2019, the total warming effect from greenhouse gases added to the Earth's atmosphere increased by 45%. Darling Brew has always operated with the importance of environmental impact in mind (alongside our conservation initiatives) and as a result, our carbon-neutral brewery is the first in Africa. So, naturally, we were very keen to provide support for this exciting project!

Contributing Supplies

The teams working tirelessly at these stations need to stay sufficiently fed and fueled, right? All work and no play makes for a very cranky scientist, after all! As such, all stations are equipped with the basics: bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, laboratories, offices, workshops, etc. For balance, there are also entertainment rooms, a bar, a library, and a gym. 

We knew where we could help! We packed up a selection of beers, non-alcoholic drinks and Darling Brew Beer Grain Crisps to last the duration of the 14-month expedition. They won’t be running dry on our watch! Included in the supplies is something special - the prototype of our brand-new beer launching in September. The Wanderer was inspired by the Wandering Albatross and just so happens to be the title of the Marion Island Newsletter as well!

Wondering what more waits in store for these adventurers on the 79th Marion Island Expedition? Watch for the next entry on the DB Wanderer log to learn more!

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1 comment

  • I think that it is awesome that you are supporting this expedition, a little miffed that you were not around to support us.
    Regards
    Anton
    Radio Engineer
    Gough 41

    Anton Noffke

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