Christmas - 30 December 2012

Christmas! We decorated the Nissen Hut on Christmas eve and hung our stockings by the fireplace with a mince-pie and a carrot in the hope that Santa and his reindeer would make it this far South in the night. We were very impressed when we woke up on Christmas morning to see our stockings (actually they were boot liners) bulging.

Our Christmas dinner in the Nissen hutOn Christmas day we had no visiting ships so we allowed ourselves to indulge in the traditional festive activities of eating too much, napping and enjoying a nice walk on the beach at low tide. We all cooked Christmas dinner together, which was a delicious feast of beef and chorizo pie with roast potatoes, pumpkin and yorkshire puddings.

The Christmas mood remained throughout the week, especially with the arrival of personal mail on Thursday. I'm pleased to report that everyone received something this time. Florence was particularly intrigued by some parcels which appear to be from Sint Nikolaas.

The last week of 2012 has been a bit grey with sleet and drizzle, probably not too disimilar to the UK. The ground underfoot is gradually turning into brown slush and we're really hoping for a good snowfall to make everything look clean again. Even though the island is looking a bit messy, three members of the team decided to smarten themselves up a bit ready for the new year. When Bremen came in on Saturday, Florence and Flo were invited on board for an appointment with the hairdresser! After a couple of hours of chopping and dying, Bianca the hairdresser was on a roll and came ashore clutching her scissors in search of more unkempt hair to cut. Ben's protestations were ignored and he too was shorn.

Florence on BremenLeucistic penguin

We've noticed an unusual penguin hanging around on the island lately. She's a Leucistic (or Isabella) Penguin which means she has less pigmentation in her feathers and is light brown where gentoos are normally black. We have observed her checking out nesting sites and getting to know the locals, perhaps with a view to moving in next season! Leucistic penguins are quite rare, but we have also been lucky enough to spot a leucistic Adelie penguin passing by on an icefloe recently.

KathThere have been lots of good-byes this week, with many of the ships undergoing a mid-season staff change over. It seems incredible that we are nearly half way through the season, it's really flying by!

Happy New year!