Week 6: A Surprise Visit

This was the most successful week for us. We were able to go sampling nearly every day. That’s very rare in Antarctica.

Apart from our routine benthic sampling, we also went sampling to measure the seawater characteristics (such as salinity, temperature, and chlorophyll-a). This time we went with other group who work on plankton.  Since boat work is of interest to many people, there were also 2 terrestrial (land) ecologists came along to join us. And, not to forget, an assistant cook who also turned up to give a hand.

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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.

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Week 2 : Signy Research Station

The journey from Falkland Islands to Signy Research Station, Signy Island, Antarctica was on British Antarctic Survey (BAS) ship named James Clark Ross (JCR). While waiting for JCR to get ready for sailing, I grabbed the opportunity to visit a few attractions around Stanley, the town of Falkland Islands. My life on JCR was simple and relaxing but sometimes adventurous when the weather was bad and the waves were rough. Despite of seasickness, people onboard might get difficulties in walking around. Not many activities on board except watching films and reading. 3 meals were provided per day on the ship which inclusive of a full English breakfast, 3 course meals each for lunch and dinner. BAS emphasises pretty much on safety issue and therefore people on board again need to undergo some ship safety briefing and training. On the 25th Dec, people on board celebrated Christmas Day on the ship with a traditional Christmas lunch which includes a turkey meal and Christmas pudding.

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Week 1: The Journey to Antarctica

The journey to Antarctica started from Cambridge, United Kingdom where the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) building is located. I arrived at Cambridge on the 13th Dec after a 13 hours flight from Malaysia and a 3 hours coach. It was winter and the temperature was about 11°C. Before departure to Antarctica, I need to attend a maritime Personal Safety Techniques (PST) course which was held in Norwich on the 16th Dec. It was a one day course which comprises 2 sessions.

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