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, 23 January 2014

Catching up...

Again I have fallen miserably behind in my blog updating.  I do mean well- I'm just super busy and it always seems to end up at the bottom of my list of things to be done!  I'll start with a picture of a daily sight from our kitchen window...

Young elephant seals play-fighting in the water.

Here on Signy all is well.  We had a nice Christmas and managed to take a couple of days off to celebrate.  We had a christmas tree and decorations and ate lots of traditional Christmas food, including the full Christmas dinner of turkey and trimmings, plus we made mince pies, trifle and Christmas cake.  Christmas cards and parcels from family and friends were opened and we spent Christmas morning out sledging and learning to snowboard (which I was dreadful at!).  It was all very nice.

Our Christmas Dinner (left to right- Yoga, Matt, Norm, Me, Bruce, Mark, Stef).

The JCR came to visit the day after Boxing Day, and took away two of our scientists, and brought 3 more, bringing us up to 8 on base for a while.  This was quite busy but nice, as it meant the cooking duties don't come around as often!  We celebrated New Year with a BBQ and champagne.

2014 so far has been quite busy with ships.  In addition to the JCR visiting at the start of the year we had a cruise ship, the Bark Europa to visit in early January.  This is no ordinary cruise ship, but a beautiful tall ship, on which passengers pay for a working holiday of sailing the ship and visiting the Antarctic all in one.  We were lucky enough to get on board for a quick look around.  I think if I was to visit the Antarctic as a tourist it is definately the best way to travel!

The Bark Europa at Signy.

On 13th January the Shacketon (BAS's second ship) called to take away some cargo and 2 of our scientists.  This puts us back down to 6 people on station.  The Shackleton brought us some fresh fruit and veg which made a refreshing change.  We are now about half way through our season and this is likely to be the last ship we see until the Shackleton returns to close the station in mid March and take us home.  Between now and then I have a lot of penguins and seals to count, chicks to weigh and krill to measure.  I also need to continue the process of finding myself a job for the summer.

Thats all for now, I will leave you with a photo of summer twighlight over Coronation Island- this was taken just before midnight.  Best wishes for 2014 to everyone at home.