So four years after my first job with the British Antarctic Survey I am going to head South again, this time as the Zoological Field Assistant on Bird Island, South Georgia, with responsibility for the Penguin and Giant Petrel long term monitoring work. And I’m also going to be the winter base commander too!
Before heading to Bird Island there is plenty of training to do again, and management meetings to attend as the winter BC. This meant spending 2 months living in Cambridge and heading to the office each day. I’m not really used to cities and offices so this was quite a change for me! Cambridge was a great place to catch up with lots of friends, buy last minute items, and enjoy the river and parks.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of our training is the field course in Derbyshire. For many years this has been held in a field, but now, due to a very wet and stormy year it has been moved to a field centre. Not only did we have spacious tipi’s to sleep in, but there was a proper kitchen and dining room, and a high ropes course, perfect for practicing crevasse rescue techniques.
Weather for the field course couldn’t have been much better, beautifully clear. A few people were commented on it being cold at night…. do they realise where they’re going?!
By working in Cambridge for a while we were also able to spend more time with the people heading off to other bases, and get to know each other too. Punting on the river Cam was a particularly good team building exercise, especially when followed by a large jug of Pimms!