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.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The start of a new season.

Once the ship had left us it was time to start work.  Most of my early season work is at Gourlay peninsula which is about an hours walk from the research station.  To get there I walk up one of the glacial valleys.  You can see the piles of rock debris (called glacial moraine) which has been left behind as the glacier slowly melts and retreats inland over time).

Then I cross the large snowfield...

And then drop back down to sea level on the other side where there are usually some young Elephant seals sleeping on the beach...

Then I contine onwards to the huts. 

I have two huts.  The one on the left is the living hut, with two bunks, food supplies, a paraffin heater which can be lit to keep the place warm and a couple of stoves and tilly lamps for making cups of tea and for lighting.  It is a cosy place for a night out.  The other is the work hut which smells of penguin, and is where I keep all of my penguiny clothing, catching nets, and work gear.  It would be a much less pleasant place to spend the night!

At Gourlay there are lots of penguins.  Here are just a few of them!  I'll tell you about my work another time else I will end up with too many pictures here for our internet connection to cope with.

 On the way home I spotted a ship.  Down here you tend to get the feeling you are the only people for miles around so it is always slightly odd to realise that there are other people close by!  It appears to be a cruise ship but it was too far away to see which one.

 

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