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Bird Island, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
I work as a Zoological Field Assistant, and am the 2009 Winter Base Commander, at Bird Island Research Station, one of the British Antarctic Survey's five research bases in Antarctica. The main remit of my job is seal fieldwork as part of BAS' Long Term Monitoring and Survey programme. Science has been carried out on Bird Island since 1958. I work with Antarctic fur seals and leopard seals, as well as assisting with the seabird fieldwork programme. Contact me on: ewanedwards at gmail dot com

Monday, 29 October 2007

29.10.2007 - Last day in Stanley, FI

After a relaxing few days in the Falkland Islands, and seeing the sights of Stanley in particular, RRS James Clark Ross is due to sail this evening at 1900hrs, heading firstly for King Edward Point/Grytviken on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. This marks the end of an interesting visit to the Falklands, during which we have truly experienced the proverbial 'four seasons in a day', having seen everything from wall-to-wall sunshine to horizontal hail, sleet and snow. One is ill-advised to leave the ship to walk to Stanley (about a mile) without full wet weather gear, because even if the weather is fine upon leaving, doubtless it will rain before long. The sight and sound of Land Rovers and of hailstones the size of large garden peas rattling off the tin roofs of Stanley will endure in my mind as memories of 'civilisation' in the Falklands, as we depart for the isolation of South Georgia and Bird Island, my home for the next thirty months.

Time in Stanley has been spent walking, visiting the tourist sights in and around the town, chatting to the natives and enjoying the local hostelries, such as The Globe and The Victory Inn. I found time to catch up with Darren Christie, an old friend from school who works in Stanley for the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands on invasive species and biosecurity measures, and with Issac Forster, one of my predecessors on Bird Island.

But now the time has come to leave, as the engineers have arrived from the UK to solve the issues with the ships engine management system, and all should be in order by this evening. It is expected that passage to South Georgia will take in the region of 72 hours, assuming reasonable weather (reasonable, considering we are traversing one of the roughest oceans on Earth) and no further changes to itinerary.The weather forecasts on the bridge indicate we may be in for a lumpy ride!

Above are a few images from our time in the Falklands, and some of the other Fids which whom I have been travelling.

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