Arrival on South Georgia
Following a calm, warm and tranquil passage from the Falklands, the team I am working with arrived at Grytviken on the north shore of South Georgia on, I think, Sunday morning. We are so lucky that the weather was kind to us - the ship we had chartered, the Ernest Shackleton, was full to the brim with our supplies - food, fuel and rat poison, amongst other things. Oh, and three helicopters and a team of amazing men and women who are going to take part in the largest rat eradication ever attempted over the next few months. The group of people here is humbling, fascinating and stimulating at the same time, and our three day crossing from the Falklands was filled with fun, hard work and lots of conversation - all getting to know each other in the run up to the project.
The initial phase of the project is to depot several hundred tonnes of supplies across the island, and to prepare for the work in the field. To this end, I have been dropped off at the research station here which is operated by the British Antarctic Survey and funded by the South Georgia Government - mostly the science here concentrates on fish, penguin and seal work. More of that later.
Our project really begins when all of the depots have been laid and the ship leaves for Stanley. Then, I will join the field team and start work with them as we move around the island, dropping poison as we go from the aforementioned helicopters.
While the depots are being laid, I am working here at the research station at King Edward Point, organising our food supplies, baking bread and cake, and making stews for the freezers here so that we can send food out to the field camp as and when we can. As soon as the first camp is established, I will join my mate and second chef, Oli Prince and we will set up our kitchen together. He is ace - a really good young, strong chef which is exactly what I need to help me with this job, so I am very happy that he came along.
Our plan, in brief, is to kill all of the rats and mice on South Georgia in the next three years. More of that tomorrow, as I have to go and take my last batch of bread out of the oven. Goodnight, Gerardx