Seals, Ice, and Videotape

This is a video blog or vlog about life at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica. Do you need help watching? Enjoyed the videos? Read my written blog. Stay up-to-date - subscribe to the RSS feed!

JCR arriving

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Here’s another timelapse video showing the James Clark Ross arriving at Rothera last month – as you can see, bringing the ship alongside the wharf through the brash ice requires some complex manoeuvering!

JCR arriving

A seal pup

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

On Saturday four of us (Tom, Jade, Agnieszka and I) went out on the sea-ice to go and look for seal pups. We managed to find one!

To those of a cynical and hard-bitten disposition: the following video contains scenes of a very cute fluffy animal. You have been warned…

baby Weddell seal


Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Last Sunday I was on gash – doing cleaning and domestic duties – so I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you some of what that involves, and what happens to all our rubbish.

Doing gash

The lost emperor

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Last week we were visited by a lone Emperor penguin – a rare sight in these parts. I have seen one only once before, back in November 2005. This time, I had my video camera!

emperor penguin

Bad weather

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Today we’ve had some properly nasty weather, after several weeks in the sunshine. Here’s a little video that gives you some idea what it’s like!

bad weather

Freezing bubbles!

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Check out what -20 does to soap bubbles in this little video


Skiing to Lagoon Island

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Four of us (Jade, Tom, Soup and I) skied across the sea ice the 6km to Lagoon Island. Join us from the comfort of your own home!

skiing to lagoon

Digging out

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Digging out is a common task down here – stuff gets buried in snow all the time. Admirals House generates its own personal snowdrift, which comes up over the windows and reaches the eaves. Because the windows of the bedrooms are an emergency exit, they have to be dug out regularly.

This video shows me digging out my bedroom window, as seen from inside. It’s sped up by a factor of 8.

digging out window

Nacreous clouds

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Well, you wait three months for a video and then two come along at once! Today we had our first sight of nacreous clouds – beautiful bright white clouds that form in the upper atmosphere and reflect the low sun. When viewed with the naked eye (though sadly not in any photos) they have an iridescent colouring, like mother-of-pearl.

Nacreous clouds
Nacreous clouds – the bright white clouds in the centre of the picture

Anyway, I took advantage of a nice day with interesting clouds to take a timelapse video from the Ops Tower. This is just over five hours, starting at 1120 in the morning, sped up to last two-and-a-half minutes. There’s no sound. Enjoy!

nacreous clouds timelapse

As well as the clouds, if you look carefully, you should see blowing snow, a brief drop in visibility, two people skiing on the sea ice, two people digging out the door of the Miracle Span (the building that looks like an overgrown pigsty) and at least two skidoos.

Like all my videos, this one is MPEG-4 AVC (aka H.264) – if your chosen media player won’t play it, try QuickTime, Media Player Classic or Nero ShowTime.

Blowing Snow

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

I’ve been a bit slack in not posting any new video postcards during the winter, but here’s one I shot back in May but have only just got round to editing. It shows a bright clear day with a strong wind, and how the wind blows the snow into interesting patterns. blowing snow