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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

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

31.10.2007 - At sea

We continue our passage towards South Georgia. The air (and sea) temperature is noticeably cooler now that we are south of the Antarctic convergence/polar front. As of 21.30hrs local time we are around 30 NM to the west of Shag Rocks, the westernmost limit of the British overseas territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (see Wikipedia for more information). At 05.00hrs tomorrow we are recovering a buoy that has been recording whale vocalisations for several months near to Shag Rocks, as it is one of the places you are most likely to spot cetaceans (whales and dolphins) on this voyage, so at this point I plan to be awake for that...!
The plan (weather dependent) is to visit King Edward Point on Friday, stay overnight and arrive at Bird Island on Sunday. It will be nice to see some of the rest of South Georgia and to go for a walk around KEP. Grytviken whaling station (near to KEP) is the site of the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Anglo-Irish explorer most famous for the Endurance expedition, who died at South Georgia in 1922.

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