Do you eat ice-cream in Antarctica, if so what ice-cream?
Yes – we really like ice-cream down here – generally chocolate or vanilla but the only other
one we have is strawberry – but 3 types of ice cream are not too bad where we are!
What sort of food do you eat?
We eat normal food, same as what you eat, normal meats – chicken or pork or beef, with
pasta, rice and potatoes etc., the only difference is that we only do our shopping twice a
year and the 2nd shopping needs to last us 9 months
Did you know anyone before you went there who was already there?
No, when I came down here I didn’t know anyone and during summer there can be 128
people on the base so there are a lot of people to get to know down here.
Do you have Wi-Fi there?
Yes there is wi-fi – but we cannot get online – so we only use wi-fi to access our emails. To
get on the internet we use the PC computers around base.
What the most dangerous thing that’s happened to you in Antarctica?
I don’t know of anything dangerous, we are all very careful, everyone gets a lot of training
and when we go out we are properly dressed. I guess falling while skiing has been the most
How far away have you been hiking away from Rothera base?
Yes - we got to visit the south of the island and got to see the far side which was nice, the
trip was about 80 km on skidoos and we also got to do some hiking over there which was
super cool. You can only get around there on a winter trip so it was nice to see.
How is it not seeing much wildlife, no trees and no grass?
It’s a little strange – we got to see our first bird flying over base again last week, the sea ice
has been extensive this year so no seals or penguins over winter but now that summer is
here some wildlife will come back – but I miss the trees and grass of Ireland !
What’s the most fun thing you have done?
I got to co-pilot a Twin Otter plane to one of our science bases which is down at 82 degrees
south. Probably the closest I will be to being a pilot, and to the South Pole!
What time do you get up in the morning in Antarctica?
We start work every day at 8:30 so we try and get up around 7 or 7:30 to start the days
work which can last until 6pm but sometimes later to around 10pm
Is eighteen months away from you family hard?
Yes, I am 1 year away from home now and I am missing it, but I know in 6 months I will get
back home, I try and email and phone every now and again so its good to keep in touch.
What’s the closest you’ve been to a penguin?
We always stay 5 meters from wildlife, sometimes the penguins can walk closer to you, but
we don’t walk up close to them. I use a big camera lens for close-up photography of wildlife
but we keep our distance
How many layers of clothing do you wear on day to day trips?
Good question, but if we are heading out on a Skidoo for a climb, I can be looking at
between 4 and 5 different layers, and on one really cold day I was up to 6 layers – with really
big down jackets on to keep us warm during the skidoo ride.
There is quite a lot of known wildlife in Antarctica, but which ones has you in particularly
seen? And which one is your favourite?
My two favourite are Adelie penguins and orca whales both which we have visit base
regularly! The Adelie are funny to watch running around on my runway and the orca are
impressive in their size and large family groups.
How long have you been working in Antarctica?
I have been working here now for 12 months non-stop – except for two small holidays
What sort of jobs do you do around the base?
My job is to keep all the computers, internet, projectors, email, phones, satellite dishes,
computer network, printers, backups and cabling working as well as as, when the summer
starts, acting like Air Traffic control, which means talking to the planes, managing the take
offs and landings here at Rothera base, and making sure the planes and boats are all safe.
What’s the coldest temperature you've faced since you've been there?
Since here the lowest we have had was -31c and that was before windchill
We did have 3 weeks of -20c which was quite cold!
How many layers of clothing do you have to wear?
Right now in my office, I can get away with 1-2 layers as our buildings are kept heated. But
outside, we wear lots more and we always have a jacket and boots with us.
Do you have a TV to watch the rugby world cup?
No TV, some DVD’s but we don’t get any live TV here at all
How much wildlife is there and how much do you see?
Over winter there hasn’t been much over winter, but that’s changing now so we are
expecting the seals to start returning in the next few weeks and penguins too.
What is the busiest time of the year when it comes to work?
The busiest time is from September to April when we have planes in the air, field parties
heading out to do scientific work in the open away the base, and lots of people coming in
and out of Antarctica. In winter it reduces and we don’t have any aircraft to deal with so
that’s our quiet time
What A levels did you have to get this job?
So in college I studied Computers and mobile wireless and satellite communications.
In school, physics, maths, applied maths, technical drawing, business studies and 3
Who is like the boss of everyone and what’s their job?
So there is a Station leader and their job is to make sure the station is running smoothly.
That everyone is getting on with their work and everyone is happy at their work and that the
station is functioning and to deal with any problems that arise.
Do you ever get to talk to your family back at home?
Yes, I do try and get a call off every few weeks to say hello. It can be hard to get a hold of
everyone because they are never in one place when I call! but yes, I do try and call every
now and again
Have you taken any Antarctica selfies?
Lol – No! I get folks down here to take photos of me ;-)
Have you seen the Aurora?
We have had about 4 days of Aurora down here, which we can only see during the winter,
but they were absolutely lovely to see and you can see them on my twitter pictures