Prince Harry!!

…..will not likely be coming anywhere near Davis station as far as I know….What? You expected he would be? Don’t be daft…I’ve probably got more chance of finding Captain Scott eating Jaffa cakes and Pot Noodle in a tent than Prince Harry visiting us but I probably shouldn’t say that or he’ll come knocking on the door looking for any stray Englishmen who’ve ‘defected’ to the other hemisphere…

I did meet someone new yesterday though, a small Adelie penguin called Steve who came over for a bit of a chat. It was my first one to one chat with an Adelie, they are the daftest of things, much more interesting than the more popular Emperor as far as I’m concerned though, they have much more character about them and are hilarious to watch.

I decided about 8pm to go for a wander out onto the sea ice and take some photos, I’d set myself a task of taking a 360 degree film clip over the period of an hour to catch the low sun and the clouds coming in. As I wandered over to the area I wanted to film I could see a bit of ‘waddling’ going on about 300m away to the North East, I watched a bit more carefully and I could see that the solo waddler was making a beeline towards me – They do seem to have absolutely no fear, I’m guessing their only predators are when they’re under the ice in the form of seals etc, above water they will approach anything without any sort of care in the world. Anyway, I’d already set up the camera on the floor on a kitchen timer, one of those timers that you use for counting down cooking that just turns around through 360 degrees over the period of an hour, the camera basically sits on top as it pans around, cheap but effective! I stood about ten metres back from the camera and the little Adelie came running over to me to have a look and ran straight through the forward field of the camera, excellent…

Not wishing to lose his attention I stayed still where he approached up until he was about two metres away where we literally both sat / stood talking to each other for about 20 mins, he’d sqwark, I’d ask him a question, he’d answer, I’d ask him to repeat as I don’t speak penguinese etc…He’d repeat his answer and so we’d continue. I stood up a couple of times to stretch my legs, his eyes got bigger but that was about it, he really didn’t care at all, they are amazingly inquisitive little things.

After about twenty minutes or so the camera had panned around enough to capture our little conversation so I tried to get him to walk round a bit nearer to the camera, I’m not allowed to approach penguins but I am allowed to wait for them to come to me, I sort of walked round him in a semi circle maintaining the same distance to see if he’d follow me but he wasn’t too keen on that and started to sqwark a bit more, this obviously made him feel a bit uncomfortable so he just decided to walk off…..He did do it right past the camera though so that was excellent 🙂

Other than that, no major news for this week as yet, I have actually been doing my job for the past two days which is good as there has been a great deal to catch up on after last week. The biggest two pieces of work were actually digging out some antennae’s (HF sloping triangles) that were buried under snowdrift which earnt me my ‘D1’ competency ticket (using a shovel to dig) and the other was working with an engineer to fix the cinema amplifier so the guys can watch TV in the evenings (Yep, you read that correctly, some people come here and spend the evenings in front of screens watching films and TV…..I have no idea why either!)

Tomorrow I head off for three days of fun, I’ve got ‘travel training’ which is another element of training thrown on for us winterers to allow us to remain safe during the bleak cold winter when we get there. Basically we’re off out on one of our more efficient methods of travel which is by using quad bike, we can carry far more gear in terms of shelters, fuel, survival kit etc, the trouble with walking here is, unlike other parts of the world where you can snowhole and go light in alpine conditions, here you really can get caught out for more than just a couple of days and the temperatures can be getting down to minus forty – For that reason the quads suit us well and allow us to travel faster and with greater efficiency, dare I say it but some of the people aren’t that fit either so a quad works nicely. We’ll be doing three days out over two nights, varying accommodation and locations….I am most definitely looking forward to doing some doughnuts on the glassy fjord sea ice…..

Oh, and did I mention that I played golf on Sunday? Yep, I did…

Anyway, as per usual, some pics from around station and hopefully a good round of pics when we return on Friday



One thought on “Prince Harry!!

  1. great to hear your making friends and keeping up public relations with the locals, seeing things from their side 🙂 as well as doing some work, seems to be a great deal of training, to be saved for the possible real trials that may occur, great to hear from you Stuggs, thanks for the update fantastic photos to !

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