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, 31 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

The Signy team: Jen, Matt, Iain, Gareth, Me, Rob and Hector (photo: Matt Jobson)

We had a very nice Christmas at Signy this year.  The weather for both Christmas Day and Boxing Day was lovely which meant we could make the most of not having to work.  On Christmas Day we had a big Christmas dinner, then set out to build a 12 foot snowman.  This turned out to be too high to reach to put a head on the top, so the snowman ended up being a snow pinacle (I guess to people with less imagination it could be considered just a large pile of snow), but it kept us entertained for a while.  Afterwards we spent some time skimming stones across the bay to hit the icebergs- icebergs are pretty slippery so if you can actually get your stone to bounce onto it, it will then skim across the top and into the sea on the other side (you have to realise we have no TV and pretty much no internet, and all our families and friends are on the other side of the planet, so we have to invent our own entertainment from the resources we have available!).  On Boxing Day it was warm enough to sit outside in tshirts without getting cold which was very pleasant.  At night we made the most of the weather and had a BBQ.  Over the two days we also managed to squeeze in an awful lot of turkey, mince pies, Christmas cake and trifle. 

Thankyou to everyone back home who sent me cards and little parcels to open at Christmas.  They are always much appreciated.   

Here are Christmas greetings from me and my penguins at Gourlay.

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