Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up - 26th November

Yes you guessed it, we have spotted the first penguin egg here at Port Lockroy. It is a very momentous occasion in the Post Office season calendar and we are now hoping that the parents-to-be can keep the lurking skuas and sheathbills away so that we can see the arrival of our first chick in a few weeks!

It is impressive how quickly the penguins have got busy since the snow melted from the majority of nest sites only a matter of days ago. The penguins have already gathered stones and built nests got on with the matter of reproduction very rapidly indeed. It feels as of the island is changing daily, becoming even more alive by the moment.

Spirits within the team here at Port Lockroy are high, despite being isolated for a couple of days due to sea ice once again. We had two ships visit today, bringing more smiley passengers. These groups were mostly from China so spoke less English than previous visitors but took lots of pictures with us and seemed to enjoy their visits as much as we enjoyed seeing them! :)

The day started perfectly. The bay was still completely full of ice this morning and the sun was shining brightly. I grabbed the opportunity to film in the good conditions and am pleased I did for the winds have picked up as the day has gone on and now there is a blizzard raging outside! The winds have blown the ice out of the bay though, which is what allowed the ships in to visit. As I look out of the window now, I see penguins huddled down, anchoring themselves into the snow with wings and beaks. Once again, I am using the time to look over rushes and log them. I don't think I will ever cease to be amazed by how quickly conditions change in this part of the world. Back home, such extreme changes in weather would be disruptive. Here, we just roll with the good and bad, making the most of everything we see and every opportunity we get. It is the most liberating way of life and keeps us on our toes!

Shiny-looking krill herder

We have been playing word games here in the Nissen Hut in our limited down-time. So far, the words we have picked have been quite penguin-orientated. I'm not sure how that happened. Anyway, we have come with the phrase "shiny-looking krill herder" which pretty much sums up penguins in water. I've been trying to think of inventive ways of replacing the word penguin in case I should ever be banned from saying it (apparently I say it quite often)...

Turkey Surprise

Still not been banned from saying "penguin" but I finally cooked a whole meal for 5 people. And not a tin in sight... I named this meal turkey surprise as a tribute to forthcoming thanksgiving. The surprise was that it contained no turkey. I think a recipe book may be in the pipeline of some of the creations that have been produced here so you will have to wait for more details of the meal... ;)

Thanksgiving - 28th November

We are celebrating Thanksgiving with our American team member, Kristy. We have spent part of the day reflecting on what we are thankful for. I think we can all put our hands on our hearts and say we wouldn't be anywhere else right now - we are all very thankful for the opportunities that have brought us here. Every day I wake up and have to pinch myself - I have a backyard that is more beautiful than I can ever express and full of penguins! I have spent the day filming and observing our penguin characters. No eggs for them yet but it is only a matter of time now. VERY EXCITING!

First mail bags of the season left us today - fingers crossed the post makes final destinations in time for Christmas.

Have had a very busy day filming today so taking a few minutes out with the team this evening to appreciate the sunshine, location and company with a celebratory drink whilst batteries charge and rushes offload. Smiles all round :)

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