This entry is part 16 of 47 in the series British Antarctic Survey

For those of you who were wondering what base is like here at King Edward Point, I am going to take you on a small tour of what we have here.

I think that it’s only right that we start in the most social (and definitely most important) place … the bar!

This is home to a fine range of spirits, wines and beers, which are all drunk responsibly, of course. It’s also where most things happen: there’s a projector, so we have bi-weekly film nights; a darts board, which we use to compete against other Antarctic bases, and it’s also the venue for quizzes and other team activities.

Scene of quiz nights, film nights and all social occasions

Scene of quiz nights, film nights and all social occasions

Next up is my lab, which I share with the fisheries biologist. This is where I carry out my diet analysis studies and dissections . I’m pretty sure there aren’t many labs in the world with a view like ours. Highlights from the window include both elephant seal and Antarctic fur seal fights, the king penguin roost and  the occasional snow petrel.

Note the view, can't be many labs with better!

Note the view – can’t be many labs with better!

We then have the scientist’s office: note once again the incredible view (which is the same as from my bedroom)! If I am not out in the field, here and the lab are where I spend most of my time, with brief breaks for sleep, tea and food!

Not the cleanest but an insight into a king edward point biologist's office

Not the cleanest or tidiest room in the world but a sneak view into a King Edward Point biologist’s office!

With the nature of the work we carry out here, it is necessary that we have marine transport. This comes in the form of two jet boats and a two RIBs, which stands for Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boats. In a working capacity, they enable us to carry out science in areas of the island which aren’t accessible by foot.

On top of this they are used by the two Government Officers here at King Edward Point to ferry them to visiting tourist and fishing vessels in order to check they are meeting all the strict guidelines necessary to use these waters. Most importantly, the boats allow us to explore other peninsulas during our holidays. One such place, which I am hoping to visit in March, is St Andrews Bay, which is home to 500,000 King Penguins.

Our two ribs on the left and two jet boats in the water on the right.

Our two RIBs on the left and two jet boats in the water on the right.

Finally, we have a sauna for warming us up after our midwinter’s swim. And the boat shed doubles up as just about everything you can imagine. It has a table tennis table, gym and badminton court, hosts great parties and also has a chippy and metal workshop.

So, although we are very isolated we aren’t that hard done by. We even have a football pitch, although half of it is a swamp! The only thing missing that would make this place perfect is a bath!

King Edward Point boat shed prepped for a round of team circuits

King Edward Point boat shed prepped for a round of team circuits

 

Series Navigation<< Brown Skuas Versus Gentoo PenguinRare Sightings, Penguin Census And Calving Glaciers >>
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