South Georgia

Groundhog Day

It’s 3 am, the phone rings and the day begins. You force yourself into a not-quite-dry immersion suit and boots, get out on deck and grimace as the polar wind blows its choice of rain, hail or snow in your face.

Acoustic calibration

I always enjoy calibrating the acoustic instruments on our research vessels around South Georgia. It usually means taking the ship into a sheltered harbour called Stromness Bay. As you enter the bay you enjoy stunning views of three now uninhabited whaling stations (Leith, Stromness and Husvik), fur seals and penguins huffing and puffing on the beaches, and entertain some small satisfaction of looking at the salvation of Shackleton’s epic rescue of his crew of the Endurance, stranded 800 miles away on Elephant Island. 

Sitting in the heart of the South Georgia bloom

Its now a little less than a week since we sailed and we are now sitting in the heart of the South Georgia bloom, one of the largest and most sustained open ocean phytoplankton blooms on the planet, and a major natural sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide.