Week 3 : Adélie Penguins Diet Sampling

In the early morning of 27th Dec, I eventually arrived at Signy Research Station, Signy Island, Antarctica after 7 days living on the ship. Upon my arrival, the base commander Matt gave a tour brief about the station, the duties of each and every base member and the rules of the station. Basically, other than the routine morning and night watch and cook duties, I need to do gash work (or known as cleaning) every day after dinner and a scrub-out (thorough cleaning) every Saturday. This is because Signy Research Station is a small station where there are only 8 people which including me.

On the 28th Dec, I attended a few field trainings such as navigation using GPS, emergency response and rescue (ERS), search and rescue (SAR), snow and glacier walking and climbing skills, self-arrest and glissading, oil lamp and stove operating.

For my scientific work, the first Adélie penguins diet sampling started in the afternoon of the 30th Dec at Gourlay. May be I was not adapted to the cold weather and the partly rocky and partly snowy hills, it took me about one and a half hours to walk to the sampling site. However, I suppose I could make it within an hour (the usual speed) by the end of the season.

In my study, the diet sampling is approximately 5 days apart subjected to the weather conditions. After collecting the samples, I’ll immediately continue some laboratory work back in the station. Meanwhile, I also preserve the samples for further analyses when I get back to Malaysia.

On the 2nd Jan, it was my turn to cook. Since there were only three of us in the station while the rest were out working on the field, I decided to make a simple noodle soup instead of curry meal. I don’t cook when I was in Malaysia and I remember well the last time I ever do cooking is 2 years back. Surprisingly but glad to say that we (2 other base members and I) found the noodle soup is delicious though I got no recipe for reference. I probably should thank my father for inherited his cooking skill.

On the New Year Eve, we had a BBQ for dinner and count down. It was a quite different BBQ from those I had in Malaysia because there were no chicken wings, sweet corns and hot dogs but were just beef steak, burger meat and sausages. 

 Ready to get ashore by life boat
 Signy Research Station, Signy Island, Antarctica
 My arrival in Antarctica
 The base commander Matt is giving a base tour brief 

The general assistant Bruce is showing stove and lamp operating skills

 Preparation for penguins diet sampling

BBQ on the New Year Eve

The first meal that I cooked: Noodle soup

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