Hi all, this is Stephen Archer currently writing to you from Scott base, Antarctica. Myself, Associate Professor Ian McDonald and Canterbury PhD student Sean Waters are getting ready for my project sampling the Bratina Island ponds.
As always the trip down was interesting to say the least resulting in us only getting to Scott base at about 6am this morning (Monday). So far the weather has been amazing with some great shots of the pressure ridges outside of Scott base. It was so warm that when taking these pictures all I was wearing was jeans, shoes and a long sleeve top.
On the pressure ridges you could see a number of seals and we hope there will be some closer encounters before too long. As with everything else in Antarctica there is a lot to be done and a lot of protocols to be followed. Today (after grabbing 5 hours sleep) we went on a tour of Scott base then had a briefing about some general themes Antarctica New Zealand holds dear, things like safety, sustainability, learning and environmental protection.
After that it was to our cages (where we store our scientific gear) to make sure everything is okay and packed properly, then it needs to be weighed ready to be sent out to the field. At present we are due to head out on Friday the 13th but if we can get everything done quickly we will try to get out earlier, I want to get home to my wife and child as soon as I possibly can! I have to say from my perspective the hardest thing about coming down here is always going to be leaving them behind but at least we can still chat and email often.
Well that's it for now I will try to keep posting as things happen and I am able but if there is anything you want to know about Scott base or what I am doing please put in a comment.