November was our first full month as a whole team and we have already attended weddings together, witnessed births and successfully moved house!
Let me introduce you to my new Family of the Southern Hemisphere :
Aoife: (Museum Intern) Whaling station tour leader extraordinaire and absolute reading machine, has finished an entire book in the morning before I have even made a cup of Nido tea.
Deidre: (SGHT Director SG) A regular of polar life, her “wee bimbles” could mean anything from a leisurely stroll to Maiviken to a five and a half hour hike to Glacier Col so take many snacks.
Jayne: (Museum Curator) Star baker, will casually whip up a fantastic batch of baked goods after a busy two-ship day and is a great dough-making teacher. (You can justify eating cake every day in South Georgia if you are cold or need energy)
Helen: (Museum Assistant) Linguistic expert and proud of her heritage, Helen has introduced many words from the Shetland dialect into our lives: “keen” (know) “spaggy”(muscle fatigue), peerie (small) and “bairn” (child) are just a few we have learnt so far.
November was set to be our busiest month of the season, over 1,000 visitors arriving in just one week alone. Welcoming so many visitors means we walked approximately forty four commutes to and from King Edward Point to Grytviken and not one trip was identical. Unlike in the UK we aren’t affected by rail strikes or traffic jams on our way to work, we have a unique set of travel issues. Below are a few South Georgia travel translations:
South Georgia Commute Translations:
Road Block Ahead: A scattering of sleeping Elephant Seal ‘weaners’ on the track
Minor Delays: Male Fur Seal in the middle of the track
Major Delays: Two male Fur Seals fighting on the track
Congestion: Moving aside for two King Penguins perhaps also on their commute to work?
Disruption to normal journey expected: All the museum team stopping to admire the first Fur Seal pup arriving into the world
Working at the museum you learn about what life was like for the Whalers, work where they worked and live where they lived; a dusting of their history is sprinkled across the station in the forms of old whaling equipment and a cabinet of whalers crafts displayed in the museum. You experience journeys of the past and journeys that are about to begin, and in November we saw our first wedding on base! The happy couple got married in the church behind the whaling station, which was built in 1913. (The first church pastor once recalled that the “religious lives of the whalers left much to be desired” and it shortly after became a potato store!) Our station doctor rang the wedding bells, our Government Officer married the couple and it was the first (but perhaps not the last) wedding I attended wearing crocs, another day in South Georgia life.
As well as weddings and births we have recently moved house. Our start to the season was based at Discovery House at King Edward Point alongside the BAS team, and we would like to thank them all for being incredible hosts for the first few weeks! We packed up our bags and the Government builders kindly helped us move everything over to Grytviken. Relocated, provided with new washing up views and a new cup of tea spot, we are ready to begin a new stage in our season.