December 5, 2012

Life at DDU

It has passed almost month 1/2 now since I took the plane in Brest to join
Hobart. And it has been 3 weeks ½ since I arrived at Dumont D’Urville Base
(called DDU later on). Time is flying so fast!
Some pics from the boat :

After getting used to the easy life on the boat, we discovered the base,
the people who wintered over. After 2 weeks we got used to this new life
style again. Humans are really flexible…
Well, maybe that’s because we enjoy a lot our time here. Landscapes are
amazing. I get the chance to go walking near the sea, it was incredible.
Work started right after our arrival (well, the day after, when it stopped
snowing!). As I said somewhere before, I am here to study the biology of
adelie and emperor penguins. Right now we are starting our study on the
adelies during their breeding season (behavior, breeding cycle chronology,
breeding success, GPS tracking for few of them, …). It is quite time
consuming, so I had a lot of work at the end of the pairing, and now the
incubation by the males started few days ago, so while waiting for the
adelie females to return the colony we started the work on emperor penguin.

 About the work on the emperor, it was going well, at least before the
strom that is still giving us quite some wind  at DDU ! We have been stuck
for 3 days now, we hope to be able to work outside tomorrow again. About
the life at the base… Well, it is going really great! Comfortable
buildings, rooms, offices, really nice people, great food! As I said we
are getting used to this new life style, which fits me perfectly :)

As I said 2nd strom is occurring right now: in the last 3 days we had
50kts wind speed on average, and up to 70kts… Pretty windy yes!
More soon, thanks for reading!

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