Peaceful, sunny Antarctica (and lots more cameras).

Hi!

Another incredible Drake Passage with virtually no waves! I’m starting to wonder what we’ve done to deserve this or whether we’re building up some bad karma for a killer storm to end the season! The last crossing could well have been the Mediterranean, only a bit colder and with more albatrosses.

Majorly exciting news -we’ve recovered more cameras with truly excellent data, showing gentoos around the colony over winter, a very interesting behaviour in terms of how they might be outcompeting Adelies. We put out five new colonies and got a load of samples for the combined genetic/stable isotope study.

Shag Petermann

Conditions on the peninsula have been perfect, so we’re getting lots done. It’s been brilliant sunshine and very slight winds; we’ve seen nothing of the normal Antarctic weather that the stories of exploration are made. We’re meant to be testing kit for Helly Hansen (waterproof clothing), Sealskinz (hats) and Overboard (waterproof bags), but so far things have been remarkably benign, so I don’t think we’ve really tested them so far – lets’ hope we have some testing weather soon, but only if it doesn’t get in the way of work…

We’ve had two more cameras arrive, which gives us four more to deploy on the peninsula before we head for South Georgia. The quality of the data we’ve recovered this far is both a relief and very exciting to think what all of these new cameras we’re putting out will be able to tell us.

IMG_3131 IMG_2963

The final thing is that it’s going to be Christmas soon, which means I need to finish the grant I’ve been working on, and also that we will have to find some time to celebrate. We’ve got a secret Santa style Christmas on the ship, which promises to be a lot of fun. Antarctica at Christmas – can life be better?

Bye for now –we’re heading off into the Southern Ocean again!

Tom

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