Monthly Archives: March 2015

Last trip – on the way home.

Well, this is the final trip of the season – we’ve had an incredible run and the amount of data we’ve collected is truly staggering! I’m pretty exhausted, so while it will be sad to leave Antarctica and amazing friends, it will be nice to catch up with friends back home and start to go through the data. After all, there needs to be a point to all this gallivanting!

On that note, Eamonn Maguire has joined me – he’s a computer visualization guru, who’s helping us translate images into policy ready graphics and output. He’s also a penguin nut who’s happy to trade in the computer lab for snow and real penguins.


Eamonn with the camera on a stick. This is on Gaston Island – a new one to us, but a great new Chinstrap colony which is in a really useful place on the peninsula to monitor. In general, Chinstraps are doing very badly on the peninsula, so the more of these we can monitor across a range, the more we might be able to work out why.


Another camera on a stick – seeing if I can get an aerial view of whales. They didn’t play ball.

As we head up the Beagle Channel for the last time this season, I say goodbye to the amazing crew of the Ocean Diamond, at least until next year. These guys are the best; Woody and the team have kept us safe, worked with us and given a huge amount of support to us over this season. Thanks guys!

Also, I’d like to thank everyone who has adopted a colony over this season, or offered kind words of support. We need all that to keep going!


The Antarctic Peninsula in Glorious Sunshine.

While I hate to give the impression that this is all fun and games, we’ve been having some wonderful weather here.

It’s the penultimate trip and Hila is on board, who has just started a DPhil (PhD) in monitoring diseases in penguins. It’s not her first experience of penguins; she did an MSc on gentoo penguins and after a break in the real world (as if!), she’s now expanding to more penguins and to policy – relevant monitoring.


We just got back to last year’s satellite camera on the Yalour Islands and serviced it. It was still transmitting a month ago, but it looks like Al will now have to reboot it from London. We installed a new battery, so fingers crossed it will be good for at least another year. The idea is that these cameras will be good enough to leave for three years at a time.