Week 3-4

In previous report, I briefly explained about the study my collaborator and I are doing in Antarctic Peninsula. Our works here are basically involving field work (or sampling) and laboratory works for sample processing and storage. All field works are done by the aid of SCUBA diving. These have been the routines of us here although at times we were unable to carry out our planned works due to weather condition. However, there are some social activities too.

In the first two weeks, we managed to complete around 20% of the works that have been planned. It has been quite a success so far.

As in previous weeks, our works in the 3rd and 4th weeks were also mainly on collecting samples, observing the seabed (by underwater camera), and processing, preserving and storing the specimens to be brought back to Korea. Within this time, 5 sampling occasion were successfully done and we also managed to complete all the subsequent sample/specimen processes.

Crane is use to lift the boat and many heavy stuffs. It’s handy

Tide gauge to be deployed in the study area

A researcher is collecting benthic diatom in inter-tidal area

Divers getting ready to dive on a very sunny yet cold day

‘Full-dressed’ shower before get in to the buildings

The research team

Some of the common species in Antarctic peninsula. Sponges, red Sea Star and spaghetti worm (seen here only its spaghetti-like tentacles attach on the sponges

Life in Antarctica is not all about work. Although the working day is pretty much every day (without weekend), but sometimes we also have special events. And depending on the schedule, we might go for a walkabout to nearby areas.

This year’s Antarctic program in King Sejong is quite special. We have several people from media and TV who came with us and stayed for 3 weeks. They are comic illustrator, singer, movie director, and also documentary producer. On the Christmas Eve, we had a movie session together. Yes, the movie was The Godfather, but with several interventions as the Korean movie director would give some explanations about the plot (and discussion too!).  We also had a BBQ on New Year’s night from 8pm till 3am. Several people (including myself) could stand the freezing temperature and left earlier.

Autograph session from a comic artist Andi Kuhn

Talking about Antarctica, the first thing would come into everyone’s mind is penguins, and it is no exception for me. A good weather is not common here, so the one that we had the other day was a great chance to walk to the Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPA) to see the colony of penguins. The are is only 2 km from King Sejong Station, so it did not take too long to walk there. As I don’t have permit to get into ASPA, I am only allow to get up to the border of the area. But anyway, still got the chance to see many penguins as they coming down from the hills and going up after they finished hunting foods for their chicks.

A group of Gentoo penguins by the rocky shore near the ASPA border area

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