Since 2011, I have been spending November to April each year working for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica. I work as a Zoological Field Assistant on the penguin and seal long-term monitoring programme. Before this, I spent 2.5 years on the sub-Antarctic island of Bird Island, South Georgia, in the South Atlantic.

This blog gives readers an insight into my day-to-day life in the Antarctic, from my first trip south in 2008 to the present day.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Antarctic Clothing

Today i was kitted out with all my Antarctic clothing. Typically it was the hottest day we've had since i arrived in Cambridge. This was fine when trying on thermals and base layers, but as more layers were added including padded boilersuits, sallopettes, waterproofs and ski goggles, it started to seem like it would be a good idea to have a giant freezer room to try things on in to give an idea of warmth! Eventually my gear was all packed into a huge orange bag and put in a big pile ready to go on the ship next week. I will have access to it as soon as i join the ship in the Falklands. I then went to visit the packing sheds to see the size of the boxes i have for my personal kit, which i'm hoping to have packed and ready by Tuesday.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Getting started

People checking this page in the hopes of exciting iceberg and penguin photos will have to wait patiently for a bit longer. But, progress is being made. I am now at least working for the people who will take me south. I left my previous job with the RSPB on Oronsay last week and have now moved down to Cambridge where i shall be living for a couple of months, getting trained up ready for the big adventure.
I shall be based in Cambridge from now until early November. During this time, i have various training courses to undertake, to prepare me for my time in antarctica; this ranges from dentistry, to satellite communications to analysing penguin vomit!
My first training began yesterday, when i was flown up to Aberdeen to learn all about the satellite communication system that provides us with telephone and email contact with the outside world. We got to play with big satellite dishes to locate satellites and learnt what to do if parts of the system fail. It was quite complicated to a biologist! But i got the general idea and it was very interesting. Today i returned to Cambridge to continue my packing.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Welcome to my Blog

I've set up this blog for all the people who have asked me to keep them updated on what i'm up to down in the South Atlantic. Theres not much here yet because I haven't got there yet but keep checking this page as i'll be putting up pictures and keeping you all updated as things progress!