Flying into Cape Bird hut from Scott Base felt a little like flying home – being greeted by familiar faces, sites and sounds, slipping into familiar routines around the hut and out around the colony. It is certainly nice to be back.
Cape Bird is often referred to as the Riviera of Ross Island and for good reason. We probably have the best weather as we’re relatively sheltered from the southerlies by Mount Bird and Mount Erebus and we certainly have some pretty sweet accommodation compared to some of the other field camps. Our hut is pretty palatial, with a large living area, a lab, two bunk rooms and a shed complete with clip-on outhouse.
There’s even a wringer for when you need to wash your stinking penguin socks.
The pantry is well-stocked and, as long as you don’t look at the expiry dates, you can find most things you want (as long as you don’t want anything fresh or have a particular fondness for tinned fish, surprise beans or christmas pudding).
There’s even a secret stash of marmite, which made me happy!
But it’s hard to believe how fast the time is going. Already, I’ve been here for over two weeks, making today the halfway point for me this season. This year we have seven people for what the same amount of work we did with three the first season, so while the hut is super-busy, we’re getting way more done and not working ridiculous hours. We also had a pretty slow start this year as the birds seem to be running a bit behind schedule but it has nice to ease into the work and get settled in before it got all crazy busy.
I’m going to leave you with a pretty penguin picture to wet your appetite for stories about penguin work in the new year. Happy nearly 2013!!
*Thanks to Papa John for the use of his photos from last season!