About Me

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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, 5 November 2007

04.11.2007 - Arrival at Bird Island

First view of the island

Me and my new home

The cargo tender and the snowy slopes of Bird Island

Waving goodbye to folks on the JCR

The JCR is left behind, (mainland South Georgia beyond)

En route to Bird Island from the JCR

A small berg breaks up in Jordan Cove

Freshwater Bay and the buildings of the base

The passage from King Edward Point, South Georgia, to Bird Island overnight was relatively uneventful, as we had an early start to resupply the base and bring the wintering Fids/dental patients aboard. I was put to work as 'dental nurse' for Burjor, as he checked out the Bird Island lads as they came aboard. I hope poor Fabrice forgives me, as his introduction to one of the lads he will be wintering with next year was me, armed with a lignocaine-filled needle!

For the last time for some while, I left the ship yesterday at around 1400hrs. The journey to Bird Island on the cargo tender took longer than would be ideal, because of the strong southerly winds, which rendered the southern anchorage (a much shorter distance from the jetty) unworkable. It was sad to depart the ship, after what had been a varied and highly enjoyable cruise. However since being appointed to this job at the end of April, I have been itching to set foot on Bird Island, my home for two winters and three summers. Now I was to have my chance.

On arrival there was no opportunity to check out the accommodation, to find my feet or to explore the island - instead, all hands were involved in the relief of the base, unloading all the cargo that was being delivered, along with new personnel, from the UK.

Box after box of science kit, food, basic living consumables such as toothpaste and loo roll, and beer, were unloaded from the cargo tender, and Fids from the ship were brought in to help out. The last cargo tender returned to the James Clark Ross, leaving behind a couple of visitors to help continue the unpacking, and I enjoyed my first night with new friends on Bird Island.

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