Curator Lorna gets to grips with 54 historic photos and some fur seal puppies

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The new Whaling End Product Display includes soap, a salve and lipstick made of whale oil
The new Whaling End Product Display includes soap, a salve and lipstick made of whale oil
With the busy festive period over you may have thought that things would start to slow down in January, but we were as hectic as ever. We had 14 cruise ship visits, including our biggest ship of the season, Seabourn Quest, who brought 450 passengers. There were also a couple of HMS ships and yachts. We were without internet, and so emails and phones, the whole month, so that made work just a little bit more difficult and explains why we are so late putting this diary up. However, we did manage to find time to concentrate on various tasks around the museum. I was able to focus on the core curation, and finish jobs such as the re-pack of items in Artefact Store 1 into conservation grade materials, and to start the process of accessioning 54 garrison photographs into the museum collection. These are the photos of all of the British military garrisons that worked here from 1982 until 2001 when the British Antarctic Survey station was reopened. I was also able to focus on a couple of display areas; updating the Post Office display and working on the new Whaling End Products display.


Danielle finds out there is only one way to get to the bottom of a trypot to paint it
Danielle finds out there is only one way to get to the bottom of a trypot to paint it
Summer finally arrived here on South Georgia and so Jo and Danielle were able to get out to do some of the maintenance on the many large artefacts on show in front of the museum (and work on their tans at the same time!) Works included painting the whaling canons and the inside of one of the old sealers’ trypots, strimming around the cemetery and moving a stock of harpoon heads to a new storage area.

One downside to January though was the fact that we had to say goodbye to one member of our team; our fundraiser Vickie. Her work on the island was only for three months, and so on the 19th of January she sailed off home on the cruise ship Expedition. Luckily for her the ship spent a few days around South Georgia and then travelled down to the Antarctic Peninsula. I am sure that she had a fantastic time, but she is definitely missed here at the museum, and in our little staff house too!!


Sunshine and relaxation at Coral Bay hut
Sunshine and relaxation at Coral Bay hut


Although we have still had a very busy ship schedule, it hasn’t all been work, and we have managed to get out and about and have many more amazing experiences on this island. At the start of the month we joined BAS Fisheries Scientist Vicky for a holiday across the bay at Corral Bay. As we were able to get a boat across to the hut we could take as much luggage as we wanted, and so you can imagine that with 5 girls that amounted to quite a lot! It was a lovely couple of days away relaxing by the river watching the Fur Seal puppies play, and a 4 hour hike to see the Macaroni Penguin colony. Even a day of snow and rain didn’t stop us enjoying the area and the hut itself.


Young Gentoo Penguins at the colony
Young Gentoo Penguins at the colony
At the end of the month we were able to help Keiron, the BAS Higher Predator Scientist, with penguin weighing. Under his instruction we had to catch 50 Gentoo penguin chicks to weigh. It wasn’t the easiest of tasks, especially when their beaks kept making holes in the nets, but we got our 50 in no time, and it was a great way to spend an afternoon out of the office.

Looking ahead to February we hoped that the beautiful weather would continue, and with a comparatively light ship schedule we would surely get some more outdoor jobs done, as well as the annual deep clean of the museum.