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Endurance at South Georgia

We are here, I have seen it! Finally the weather cleared yesterday and South Georgia showed herself in all her glory. The ship used the opportunity to get a lot of the tasking done and also allowed some of the ship’s company (including me) a trip ashore.

In fact yesterday morning half the crew got up for a 0400 start to make the most of the weather. I, however, stayed in bed until call the hands at 0700, and wished they would stop making pipes about preparing for flying. So what did we achieve? We have started the fur seal survey for BAS, have put in more hours for the BBC looking for the elusive bait ball by helicopter, BAS got some geology done up a mountain and most importantly the Royal Marines completed their 4 day Shackleton walk, which recreated the explorer’s footsteps at the end of his journey to find help.

As the Royals were arriving in Stromness Harbour, where the abandoned whaling station is, the ship was there and boats took some of the crew out to the beach. I went on the second boat and had to remember my fur seal advice as the beach was covered in them. We are meant to keep our distance from the wildlife, but getting from the boat to further up the beach there was no space without a seal in or near it. The males are particularly aggressive at this time of year as the pups have just been born. You need to clap loudly to scare them off, some people had oars and most of us just ran squealing at times. Although it was a bit hair raising the pups were very sweet and it was amazing to get so close to nature. There were also female elephant seals and king penguins.

The whaling station is out of bounds but we could see it from a distance. I took lots of photos and filmed hundreds of seals (my friends and family will be getting worried reading this!). I am going to attempt to attach a photo or two to this blog.

I have been fairly busy the last few days, but not with any medicine (well maybe a few patients). I am putting together press releases and photographs for Portsmouth News, Navy News and hopefully we can get into some other publications. I am also working on the two websites, as our Royal Navy website page is very out of date in places. I have had to do some more work on the ship’s investigation. BRs and Standing Orders are not my most favourite things to read. However they are occasionally interesting; I did not know that people in the Royal Navy are not allowed to be hypnotised apart from for legitimate medical reasons, so there you go.

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Photo of Bryony Pointon Bryony Pointon

(Currently: Back to UK sunshine)

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