Yew Wen Chyin, Universiti Malaya (UM)

Yew Wen Chyin, Universiti Malaya (UM)

Current Location: Signy Research Station, Antarctica

Project Title: The Relationships Between Penguins’ Diet and Gut Microflora, and the Influences to Their Habitat

Partner: Bristish Antarctic Survey

Website URL:

Week 4 : Busy…Busy…Bee

3rd – 9th Jan 2014

This is my second week living at Signy Research Station, Signy Island or known as South Orkney Islands, Antarctica. My life here is quite busy but very organising. All of us work from 8.30am till 6pm on the week days referring to the working schedule suggested by base commander, Matt. However, I will need to have a very long working hours when comes to the penguin diet sampling day, which is once in every 5 days subjected to the weather. I usually depart to the sampling site, Gourlay around 11am to collect samples. By the time I’m back at the base would be about 9pm and then I need to do immediate lab work until 4am the next day. Well, despite hard work, we do have some nice games to play and a proper 3 course meal on every Saturday evening to release our stress.

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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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