Polychaete research in the Falklands by Teresa Darbyshire - day 23
With the tides being so poor at the moment I decided to forego this morning’s tide in favour of organisation for the rest of the week and of what I have done so far. That’s my excuse anyway and I’m sticking to it.
One job that needed to get started was to transfer my large number of samples from formaldehyde to alcohol. Formaldehyde is great for ‘fixing’ the specimens initially but is not good for long-term preservation and vice versa for alcohol. Also, formaldehyde is an acidic solution and this is very bad for those animals that build calcium-based tubes as it starts to dissolve the tubes making them weak and difficult to observe. The formaldehyde has to be poured out of the pots (through a sieve so as not lose those precious worms) and then replaced with water for a short time to help remove salt crystals from the seawater before being moved to 70-80% ethanol. I managed to get through the first two weeks samples before stopping.
Other mundane activities that needed doing including getting some cash out. Not as simple as it sounds as not a single ATM exists on these islands! A trip to the one and only bank is required to be supplied with Falkland Islands pounds.
Then the excitement of picking up my next car, not borrowed this time but hired for a few days. This time I have the luxury of a Mitsubishi Shogun to drive around. A bit bigger than the landrovers but surprisingly not as nice to drive although electric windows are always appreciated. Of course, being a Japanese car this means that every time I want to indicate a turn I now turn the windscreen wipers on instead followed by muttered curses as I indicate late and then try and turn the wipers off. And yes, I did do this every single time today. Hopefully tomorrow I may remember which side they are on and then undoubtedly I’ll do the same in my own car when I next get back in it. It also came with that Falkland Islands signature feature, a large crack in the windscreen. This might have been disconcerting at the start of the trip but since I haven’t seen a single car windscreen here without a similar crack, you have to accept it as a fact of life that comes with driving over loose gravel roads all the time.
Mobility reinstated I went back to the Fisheries department for more land ownership investigations and permission requesting for the next few days localities. So a quiet day compared to most of the others and sadly nothing that generated exciting photos for me to post. Instead I have added a couple more wormy pictures from earlier days for your enjoyment and a gratuitous picture of a crab because I like it.