Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday Field Work

Christmas was very festive here at Rothera Station. One Christmas Eve, everyone on station gathered together after dinner to sing carols, drink mulled cider, and eat mince pies and other holiday goodies. Christmas Day was a day off for most people. Uffe and I did a bit of work in the lab before the big Christmas dinner. The chefs put together an excellent five-course meal using REAL fresh vegetables, complete with traditional British krackers and Christmas pudding.

Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) was also a day off for most people, but some of us went to our next field site on Jenny Island.
Jenny Island has not been visited very often, because it is outside the typical boating range in uncharted waters. (We were able to go because there's a large vessel in the area that would've rescued us in an emergency.) It was fun for us to be able to go! As it turns out, Jenny Island was an excellent place to sample soil. We found very large beds of moss and grass that provided great soil samples. You can see some of the moss bed in the picture above. We got a lot of great samples, which we are now processing in the lab.

There are a lot of elephant seals on Jenny Island. This one was very curious about our boat and kept shoving it. Elephant seals can weigh a couple tons, so they are quite capable of swamping the boat! One person always had to stay near the boats to shoo them away if they caused a problem, which made this elephant seal very unhappy!