Sunday, 28 January 2007

Co-Pilot Flight!

Today I got up at 7am (despite not going to bed until 2am after the party) and went to the Met briefing to see what the weather was like. The weather was fine for flying so I got my first Co-Pilot flight to the other side of Adelaide Island. It was beautiful seeing Antarctica from the air.

We deployed a field party of 2 people and lots of camping and science kit. Then we flew back to base down a glacier. It was soooo cool! We also flew really low over the sea and icebergs!

Gould Night

A big party in the sledge store!

Gould Visit

The American Antarctic research ship the Laurence M. Gould came to visit Rothera yesterday. Marine biologists from Rothera went aboard the ship to take water measurements around the bay.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Burn's Night

Last night in fine Scottish tradition we had a Burn's Night. This was the first one I've been to and the Ceiligh dancing was very interesting. We ate haggis which was very yum, one of Cyril's best dishes so far. Photos coming soon.


The sun is finally starting to set at Rothera - very late at night. This is a shot from the glacier down to the station. I was driving a ski-doo back last week around 10.30pm. Autumn is coming to Antarctica.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Science in Antarctica

Here's a sea spider. I picked him up when I was collecting other animals on a dive and this is him just before I returned him to the sea.

Friday, 19 January 2007

My Antarctic address

Here's my address on base if you would like to write! Post can take around 3 weeks to arrive and comes into Antarctica on a BAS flight or ship from the BAS office in the Falklands.

Sue-Ann Watson
Rothera Research Station
British Antarctic Survey
Falkland Islands
South Atlantic

Thursday, 18 January 2007

James Clark Ross second call

Only hours after the Endurance left, the RRS James Clark Ross arrived bringing my supervisor and friends from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Diving in Antarctica

Here are some photos of us diving in Antarctica taken by Jim the boatman. Today Dr Simon Morley and I dived one of the best dive sites in Antarctica - Shack's Crack. It's a steep wall of rock extending from the top of the mountains near base (called Reptile Ridge) into the sea to 200 m deep. We dived to 18 m to collect animals called brachiopods that can be found there. These animals are often found in deeper water and occur in shallow water on the undersides of overhanging ledges on the cliff face. There is an abundance of sponges and other marine life there too.

HMS Endurance

After the Winter Olympics we had a BBQ on the aft deck of the HMS Endurance. I was the coldest BBQ I'd ever been too - in Antarctica with 50 knot winds, but the food was much nicer than on base! After the BBQ, John from Southampton showed us around the ship and we got to look at the helicopters. HMS Endurance is apparently the only Naval ship with 2 heli's and the tails fold up to fit in the hold.

The Winter Olympics

Rothera joint winners with the Royal Marines of HMSE

The Royal Visit

A VVIP came to visit Rothera this week - HRH the Princess Royal. It's the first time a member of the royal family has visited this side of Antarctica. HRH came to see the Bonner Lab where we work and talked to all of us about our science work. We had a special dinner with HRH as well. She got a mountain range on our island named after her to mark her visit. Here the Princess is learning how to drive the ski-doos and below is a photo of our SCUBA diving demonstration in action.



Sunday, 14 January 2007


Here are some blog post to show you what I've been up to so far! We've done lots of things like diving, skiing, boating and field training. There's also some photos of my journey down to Antarctica across the Southern Ocean in the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Clark Ross.

10 km run

On New Year's eve we had a 10 km run around the runway. Here's one member of our novelty team - guess who's at the back!

Girls boat trip

The marine team at Rothera undertake year-round measurements of the temperature and chemistry of the water in Ryder Bay around Rothera. Here we are doing a CTD trip - CTD stands for conductivity, temperature and depth which is what the instrument we are winching measures.

Crevasse Adventure

The glacier above our base has lots of crevasses. We climbed down this crevasse which is just 5m of the safe traverse across the glacier. It was very beautiful inside!

Stork Bowl

Last weekend the weather was really good, so we skinned up the mountain to Stork Bowl. This was the first time I had ever used skins on skis. It was hard work skiing uphill for 6km and then walking up the step part of the bowl, but the views of Ryder Bay from the top were definitely worth it, and oh did I mention Stork Bowl has the best powedery snow around.

Science, the Bonner Lab and Diving in Antarctica

After field training had finished, we could finally start diving and collecting animals for our projects.

The Russians have landed!

The Russian helicopters landed a couple of weeks ago en-route to the South Pole by helicopter! We were all welcomed aboard and fed vodka.

Skiway and Vals

Lots of free time is spent skiing on Vals - a glacier on Reptile Ridge. We can either hike up or get towed up on a ski-doo. Getting a tow can be lots of fun - I bit like waterskiing!

Xmas and New Years

We had a proper xmas dinner and a party in the sledge store for new years.

Antarctic field training

Just after arriving on base we had our field training course. We camped out in Antarctica in pyramid tents, learned to travel safely in crevassed areas and ate 'man-food' space meals.

Arriving at Rothera

Arriving at Rothera Research Station was very exciting. Rothera is the largest base owned by the British Antarctic Survey.

The Southern Ocean Journey

Travelling across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula and through the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels

The Falkland Islands

Some of the wildlife seen in the Falkland Islands

The Journey

Before we got onto base we spent 10 days in the Falkland Islands and 10 days on the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Clark Ross.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Arrving on base

We arrived on base on 18 December after a 2 day research expedition around Margaruite Bay in the RRS James Clark Ross research ship.

The beginning

I have just discovered how to start up a blog. I am on my Southern Adventures and I have over 8000 photos already so this blog is an attempt to share some of my adventures and the amazing things I've seen with you all.