How we get about
Do you have trouble sailing from the Antarctic when you return after a mission?
No not really. We usually come back at the end of the southern summer, which as you know is during our winter, February and March. The ships we travel on are specially designed to cope with the conditions found in the Antarctic waters, mainly icebergs. Travelling on the ships is great fun and we often see lots of wildlife and icebergs. Getting to the bases in the early summer can be more of a problem as sometimes the sea ice has not broken up. On these occasions the ship has to break through the ice.
How does all your food and equipment arrive in Antarctica?
The food and equipment is sent down by ship. Usually the two BAS ships leave the UK in September and travel down to the Falkland Islands. We would then fly down to the Falkland Islands later in the year to join the ship or fly on to Antarctica. This can be a problem as you have to pack several months before leaving so you have to be very organised.
How do you get around in the Antarctic?
On Bird Island, we just hike around the island. It's not the easiest kind of hiking as the island is covered in a kind of grass called tussac....which grows into huge lumps (about a metre high) and so you end up going from one lump to another. In some places it's a lot flatter though and very mossy (sometimes a bit boggy). We get to Bird Island by a ship from the Falkland Islands - a journey which takes about 3 days (unless the weather is bad.. in which case it might take a bit longer!).