Despite Signy island being quite small (six kilometres by three) we do have a collection of small huts we can use for over-nights, science work or just stopping in for a cup of tea. These help us not have to carry too much stuff as they all have bunks with sleeping bags and a basic stock of food and fuel.
Foca hut at sunset. Foca is on the west coast of the island and has the most overnights stays throughout the year. The West coast of the island has a lot of Southern Giant Petrel nests along with Gentoo Penguins and Blue Eyed Shags at the Northern Tip.
Tom, Tim and Fabrizio waiting for the kettle to boil inside Foca.
Mike snowshoeing down to Cummings hut. Cummings is in the South West of the island and surrounded by an area that is pretty difficult to get to by Skidoo with lots of steep hanging coires and “big” ridges. There are some Chinstrap colonies that we visit South of Cummings and we do periodic litter surveys in various bays on this coast.Cummings Hut under a leaden sky. Cummings cove feels very remote and the hut is lovely on the outside but very basic on the inside. Sadly it will probably be replaced by a tin shed in the next couple of years.
Iain waiting for his cup of tea. Theres so little space in the hut its better to wait outside.
Tom and Iain inside Waterpipe hut. Waterpipe is the closest to base and can clearly be seen across the bay. Despite being so close to get there you either have to cross the shallows at low tide or go the long way round via the ice cap making really useful should you get y0ur timings or the weather forecast wrong.
Iain and Tom working on the roof of Waterpipe hut. The base can just be seen in the top right of the photo.
Iain and Tom walking out of the shallows on the way back from Waterpipe hut with the icecap above them. You can see a group of Fur seals on the left side of the photo – there are hundreds of them on the coast of the island just now making some days fairly terrifying!
Polar bear? Nope – its a blonde Fur seal. About one in five hundred are blonde this one was the most relaxed I’ve seen and wasnt bothered by Tim and I at all.
The Gourlay huts. The Gourlay peninsular is a couple of kilometres away and somewhere we visit every second day at least. The hut on the left is a standard hut with a couple of bunks and the one of the right is the work hut. Its a welcome relief most days to have somewhere out of the wind to work or have a cup of tea.
Tim and Fabrizio in the work hut.