sunny days on South Georgia
The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway....well, if only. Wouldn't mind an orange to tell you the truth. We had an apple given to the team last week -one between 24, so a slice each, and I managed to pinch a lemon from a passing ship - so we had just enough for the gin and tonic for a night, but fruit and veg is thin on the ground here. We have a fair stock of frozen veg, but can only transport them from our freezer to the field camp when a helicopter is passing, and then we just have to make the most of them and eat them before they go off.
Our little home at Husavik is pleasant enough - having a building to live in when we could otherwise have been in tents is a good thing, as at least we can shelter from the worst of the weather and have a heater in the dining room which makes life much more pleasant to be honest. The kitchen tent remains intact, so that we cook most of the food in a large tent out of doors and transport it into the villa kitchen at meal times. Although this means that we, in the kitchen, spend a lot of time alone, we are a happy bunch and get regular visitors, especially when the weather is not good enough to fly and spread rat bait.
Out little kitchen was designed to be as efficient as possible, and movable if necessary, so that we have just two large gas burners, two prep tables and shelving units for gear and food - everything is near to hand which is a good thing, so we can cook without running about the place too much to look for food/gear. The rest of the team operate a mouse system which means that two of the team look after the pots and pans, water and help set up and clear at mealtimes, organise water and generators and so forth. It's a neat system and one which means we all have an interest in keeping the place clean and tidy.
In the past month we have had a fair amount of sitting about - lots of indifferent weather, meaning that it has neither been too windy, cold or wet, but equally not good enough for flying and spreading the rat bait. Yesterday, however, some good weather arrived for what looks like a few days, and so the bulk of the team has gone over to Peggoty bluff on the south coast to start baiting the mouse area before moving back to the north west. It looks as though bad weather is coming in next week which would mean that, if it snows, we may have to begin packing the team up in order for us to start leaving - how quickly that has come about! We will split up into two smaller teams - one half going out in early May by the looks of it, and the rest staying behind to clean up and pack up the helicopters so that they can go home later in the winter.
In between now and then, the team will try to get as much done as possible - but as always, we will be limited by the weather and have to hope that everyone gets home safely before the weather craps out too much.
I hope to remain here for the next two or three weeks, tidying, sorting and packing things up so that, when the ship comes, we are ready to go.
See you soon! Gerard