Tuesday, 24 December 2013
It's the day before Christmas and we have heavy snow falling outside. The penguins are mostly hunkered down, led in the snow to keep themselves and their eggs warm.
Andrew and his family are on the yacht - Andrew has spent the last couple of days filming penguins whilst I have been filming his children as they get to know the different penguin characters and explore the island. We still don't know exactly where we will be or what we will be doing tomorrow but I am excited to be here in Antarctica surrounded by penguins on the big day!
Filming is continuing to go well. I am getting increasingly excited by the prospect of chicks in just over a weeks time. I don't think I will even be able to pop indoors to eat when that all starts kicking off - I am worried I may miss the first!!! The skuas and sheathbills are getting braver day by day, predators staking out the best vantage points from which they can distract the adults in order to snaffle their eggs or chicks when they come.
The Port Lockroy team is optimistic that the overnight change in wind will bring some ships. You will all be relieved to know that regardless, I am not on cook duty tomorrow!
Since I have been here, I have borrowed a friend's idea (thanks Sophie J) to re-write the words of my favourite Christmas poem " Twas the night before Christmas" to sum up life here at Port Lockroy, particularly at this time of year - see below...
In the meantime, I (and all of Andrew's family) wish you all a truly wonderful Christmas!
Twas the Night Before...
Twas the night before Christmas here at Port Lockroy
Excitement was building, the place full of joy.
The mistletoe hung, awaiting a hunk
In Bransfield House, there is a spare bunk...
The records were playing, carols galore
The shelves were all stocked in our AHT store.
The museum was clean, artifacts in their place
the team rushed around as if in a race.
Turning off lights and the inverter too
Hoping not to stand in any sheathbill poo.
They dashed for the door, opening it wide
The team left behind the dark inside.
Outside in the cold, the penguins did call.
They knew it would soon be bedtime for all.
Each gentoo was standing like a black little gnome
As we trudged through the snow back to our home.
Down at Poo Corner, the water was flowing,
Back in the hut, all our cheeks glowing.
A gin in one hand, another to go
Happiness spread with a true Christmas glow.
The sheathbills did stare through the window with glee,
For they knew they would soon be awakening me.
We all fell asleep, waiting for St Nick
If he doesn't turn up, then he's just a @$%^
All through the night the sheathbills did clatter
Ruth really wanted to give them a batter
Dancer and prancer lived up to their name,
They are alive no more - what a shame.
Sarah slept soundly, whereas Helen awoke
She wishfully thought she had heard a bloke.
Kristy was tired from doing core
Hoping her gift was to need it no more.
Jane woke up first, full of TPMA
Wondering which ships would visit today.
Frowns all around as we pulled straws for gash
It had to be done in a bit of a dash.
Cooking is fun, or so they say.
But it could be stressful, especially today.
The schedule is checked, emails are sent
Aerial fixed, it was more than just bent.
Boat shed is full, boxes on shelves
There is hardly room for the AHT elves.
Smiling and greeting all the guests on shore
How could anyone think this job is a bore?!
Visits are over, all sit back to unwind
Looking around to see what decorations they find.
Tinsel is shining in the bright Antarctic Light
So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.