I am now back on land, trying to get used to my new sea legs that are still convinced the floor should be moving! It has been a wonderful expedition, in terms of experience and the samples we managed to collect. Antarctica is known as one of the last pristine wildernesses, and the beautiful landscape was definitely proof of this. I can understand now why explorers such as Shakleton and Charcot risked their lives to discover and study the continent, and why they came back time and again.
Climate change is having an effect on Antarctica, but not as we would imagine it. The mainland is actually getting colder, but the peninsula where many of the penguins we have seen breed is getting warmer. This can have such a detrimental impact on the penguins, which is why this project is so important. Seeing Antarctica for myself has made me more aware of my actions, and I ask you all to think next time you get in your cars, or turn the heating up: is it really necessary? Small changes to our habits can really make a difference.
Now that the expedition is over, I would just like to thank you all for following our progress, and hopefully get you all excited to learn more about penguins and Antarctica. Please keep checking this blog, as I am now handing it over to Tom to keep you all updated on his progress processing all of the feathers that we collected!
I would also like to thank all of the passengers on the Clipper Adventurer, who supported us and were always curious to know how our collection was going! It was a pleasure to share this experience with you all, and I hope you all have as much affection for Antarctica as I do! And finally, I would like to thank Laurie and his staff, for all the help, without which this expedition would not have been as successful as it was.