The first couple of days ashore involve a lot of unpacking and setting up – stowing food supplies (well out of the way of the hordes of mice here), organising accommodation, preparing and organising the scientific equipment. A large part of our work on Saturday and Sunday involved building the heart rate monitors. This included adding finishing touches to the electrodes for the heart rate monitors, so that we can safely and securely attach them to the seals. Much of this work is done in and around the ‘house’ – our base for the field season.
But we also managed to spend a fair bit of time scouting around the island, looking for known seals. This involves several hours of sitting out in the wind and scanning the island with binoculars to spot any of the females we know from previous years’ work on the island.