News from Bird Island
We were delighted to get an update from Simon Parrott, who's currently on a sabbatical from his work as a surveyor with Coastline to undertake an exciting adventure on Bird Island, just south of the Polar Front.
Here's his 'virtual postcard' to us... he's due to arrive on Bird Island today:
"Just a quick update - I have been in the Falklands for just over a week now.
We were welcomed by 18 degrees brilliant sunshine, certainly not what we were expecting at all. I have sunburn! But the weather soon changed. We have had really heavy rain and hail stones the size of marbles by the wheel barrow load.
Our first night on-board ship we had 92mph winds, the highest ever recorded on the islands. Well that’s the weather done…
Since leaving Coastline I had a couple of months in Southampton loading all the tools, equipment and plant for the project.
This also involved a period of serious training! I am now a qualified 360 excavator and wheeled-digger operator, as well as gaining Cuplock scaffolding inspection and erector’s qualifications, plus survival at sea certification - so very busy on the lead up to the project.
We have now unloaded all of the cargo from Southampton and are loading it onto the RRS Ernest Shackleton ready to set sail on Saturday (Feb 3rd) for our four-day trip to Bird Island.
I can’t wait to get started. We have a new friend - Alan the King Penguin. Very cute, but smells as he is moulting and will not return to the water until he has his new set.
We hiked up Mount Harriet while on the Falklands. This was the site of a major engagement in the war. We all felt very humbled by the place and the story of the battle.
Missing my wife, family and county. Best regards to everyone at home."
Simon will be well known to many Coastline Housing customers locally. He is swapping the relatively warm shores of Cornwall for shores covered with seals, penguins and a host of other wildlife.
He has been granted a sabbatical from his work with Coastline to take part in a construction project with a team of nine other people in one of the most remote places on Earth.
While there, Simon and team will be carrying out various modifications to the island’s research station and adjoining buildings, as well as extending the nearby jetty by around 7 metres, allowing bigger vessels to dock at the location.
This will all be carried out amidst a backdrop of one of the world’s richest wildlife sites. Bird Island is home to 50,000 breeding pairs of penguins, 65,000 pairs of fur seals and several hundred thousand other birds including a large Albatross population.
We'll keep you posted with more updates as and when we receive them.