You have probably realized by now that we spend a fair bit of time out in the boat away from station. Most of the science groups here need to do the same, and we feel very lucky that we need to go boating as part of our “work” (especially on sunny days). Most of the support personnel have jobs that require them to stay on station during the work day, so not everyone gets to get out all the time.
When our group does go out we almost always stay in the boat and so the closest we get to the islands is when we are diving. So we are just as keen as everyone else to get out and go walking around.
One of the most popular spots to go hiking is up the glacier behind the station. We can also go up the glacier then down to Bonaparte Point. Both these walks can be done without a boat and so are very easy to do at anytime of the day and during any weather. You can see from the picture I took at the top of the glacier that the view is just spectacular. The view changes everyday - sometimes we can see the Peninsula and Wiencke Is and other days it seems like we are in a foggy dome.
The ice bergs are always on the move and it is interesting to watch the big ones move around (not too many spectator sports here!). A big iceberg can be grounded for weeks in the same spot but then over night move miles and miles away.
Down on Bonaparte Point the view is just as pretty - many of the rocks are covered in green moss and grasses so it makes a nice change from looking at snow and rocks. There are also many seals (fur and elephant) and birds (skuas & giant petrels) which have made Bonaparte Point their home so we have to be pretty careful walking around to avoid annoying (or stepping on) the fur seals or getting dive bombed by the skuas (which are very territorial, particularly when they have chicks nearby).
A trip over to Old Palmer is also a popular afternoon out. The moss covered rocks on the southern edge of the island (it has only recently become an island - Maggie wrote about that in an earlier entry and is going to write more about it soon) look like green fields (with fur seals in them instead of sheep!) and of course the views across to the Peninsula and to the northern islands are spectacular as well. Over on the northern edge is a cove called Loudwater Cove - so called because the glacier calves loudly and frequently - you see in the photos that it is a very beautiful spot.
There are also a dozen or so islands that we can go and visit - so as you can imagine the station is almost deserted if it is a sunny Sunday!
Moderator’s note: Anne has apparently been getting e-mails from friends at home in Australia wondering if her spelling has changed during her stay in the United States (and at our US research station here in Antarctica). No, although the entries she submits are fine otherwise, she continues to use Australian spellings. I continue to correct her spelling to American forms after she submits her entries. CDA