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.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Leopard seals

The first leopard seal of the winter. With a Mick for scale!

Big teeth on a big leopard seal! We had to postpone our Midwinter dip in the sea due to the presence of this beautiful beasty.

Snoozy happy Leopard seal.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Happy Midwinter!

Happy Midsummer to everyone at home, from the Bird Island Wintering team.

Midwinter is the most celebrated day of the year in Antarctica as it marks the turn of the seasons and the start of the days getting longer. This is more significant for bases who are situated closer to the South Pole, many of whom have not seen the sun for several months, but even for us at our higher lattitude, it will be a refreshing change as the days get longer and the sun no longer rises at midday. In another 6 weeks the sun will once again shine directly on the base, instead of being in the shadow of the mountains. Bases of all nationalities around Antarctica celebrate Midwinter by sending their best wishes and greetings photographs to their fellow Antarctic companions around the continent. Everyone takes time off to celebrate in their own different ways. It is lovely to recieve greetings from bases of all nationalities, who regardless of war or disputes back home, are united into one big Antarctic family on this day.

Here on Bird Island, we have plans for a full week off work, and the type of festivities you might expect around Christmas time. We have all been busy in the workshop, making presents for eachother and are looking forward to a week of good food, snow, movies, games, presents and various other novel types of entertainment. Happy Midwinter. xxx