July 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Wanted: caretaker to work for minimum wage in remote location with no shops, pubs or TV reception.
Phrased like that, the job advertisement might not sound that tempting. Alternatively, one could mention the thousands of penguins, albatrosses (below) and fur seals with which you would be sharing the remote island in the South Atlantic. Or the stunning 600ft sea cliffs with peregrine falcons and red-backed buzzards swooping to their nests. Or the regular sightings of killer whales and porpoises from deserted beaches.
New Island, a nature reserve in the far west of the Falklands archipelago, is seeking a caretaker-cum-handyman for six months starting in September. An interest in ornithology is not essential but would help, as the successful applicant would be sharing the 6,000-acre island with more than two million birds, including several threatened species of penguins.
The trust that controls the island also recommends bringing a thick wetsuit: the beaches are magnificent but the water temperature is only 8C (46F) in what passes for summer in the Falklands.
The successful candidate will be paid £1,000 a month to manage the handful of buildings, look after the vehicles and assist the half-dozen seabird scientists who will be carrying out research.
Georgina Strange, 31, who manages the island, said the caretaker would need to fix things using basic resources, “because if something breaks you can’t just call up a plumber”. Ms Strange, whose father bought the island in 1972, added that there would be no chance of leaving the island during the six months as a return helicopter trip to Stanley, 150 miles away, costs £2,000. If you forget your toothbrush, a supply ship will bring you one when it visits — once every six weeks.