Week 3 – Coppermine Peninsula, Greenwich and Nelson Islands

27th Jan – 2nd Feb 2014

After we left Punta Hannah, our vessel arrived at Greenwich island but we couldn’t land due to the bad sea condition. We had to be in standby mode even during midnight so that we could go to the island as soon as the weather got better. It was a long night. All of us waited anxiously for the weather reports from time to time. We couldn’t leave this island because the vessel must disembark and embark some researchers from the Arturo Prat Station on the island.

We waited for one more day but according to the weather report, the weather would only get better in the late afternoon of the next day. Since we were already behind the schedule, we had a meeting with the coordinators and decided to split into two teams: one to Dee Island and another to Coppermine Peninsula. Both teams would reunite on the vessel later and return to Greenwich island.

 I decided to follow the second team to Coppermine Peninsula. My Korean roommate, Soo Yeon, and I took a photo on the deck while waiting for the vessel to arrive at our destination.

 

We went to Coppermine Peninsula by skua because majority of us wanted to go to this island.

 

The scenery on the island was absolutely stunning. We walked further away from the coast to collect our samples.

 

The scenery on the island was absolutely stunning. We walked further away from the coast to collect our samples.

 

Scenery from the top of a hill at Coppermine Peninsula.

Greenwich island

We had a 30-minute break on the vessel before we were off to Greenwich island. We were greeted by the navy at the Arturo Prat station. Since most of us were exhausted, we took a tea break at the base before we continued our work. The navy was very kind to allow us to connect to their wifi. It was a few days before Chinese New Year. Being totally disconnected from the outside world for 1 week, I felt grateful to be able to contact my family and let them know that I was doing fine in Antarctica.

 

Arturo Prat station

After having a short chat with my family, I went to the field with other researchers to collect samples.

Astonishing views of the island covered by snow.

Walking in snow is a big challenge because we didn’t know how deep it could be. We had a hard time trudging through the deep snow in order to reach the hills far away from the station to collect our samples. We finished work around 9p.m. and returned to the vessel.

Waiting for the zodiac boat to pick us up.

We had a farewell party at night for the Malaysian delegation team. All of us couldn’t sleep well that night after a long day of field work because the heating system on the vessel wasn’t working well.

Nelson island

On the next morning before I left my room for breakfast, all of us were informed that our vessel would arrive at Nelson Island soon and we had to get ready immediately to go to the island. We had sandwich on the deck as quick breakfast while waiting for the navy crew to prepare the ladder and zodiac boats.

 

Nelson island

Chinstrap penguins.

Penguin colonies over the hill.

Fur seal

A photo of me collecting soil samples at the field.

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