Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Smooth Crossing - July 14, 2008

In the last couple of days we have had a smooth passage through the almost freezing waters of the Southern Ocean. The Drake Passage seems to have spared us from shaking and bouncing around, preventing the inexperienced as well as the experienced sailors from having serious seasickness. We have had a few bad snowstorms in the last couple of nights causing waves to swash on the back deck of Nathaniel Palmer. Fortunately, the NBP is a stable icebreaker, so most of us felt safe in our computer office spaces working to prepare our sampling log sheets. One can actually imagine that if we were in a different boat, many would have had lost the battle against keeping food down. Thanks Dr. Palmer!

Meanwhile, the helicopter deck was not the place for basketball today. However, after dinner a few people were up for the ultimate challenge at the foosball table. Althought there were four Brazilians , it seems that their soccer skills did not transfer to the mini foosballers. That is, except for Paulo Sumida, professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who together with Prof. Craig Smith defeated nearly all their opponents. The remaining Brazilian crowd, Angelo, Fabio and Arthur are engaged in daily training for a revenge match very soon.

Our coordinates now are 62 degrees 04.233’ S and 67 degrees 33.157’ W. The temperature outside is 29.5 degrees F (– 1.4 degrees C ) but the wind chill is 5.4 degrees F (– 14.8 degrees C). We still have one and a half days to reach the southernmost station of our transect, station G, where all the fun starts.We have already been split into two work shifts and people from the nightshift (midnight to noon) have started to acclimate to their new schedule for the next three weeks, sleeping during the day and waking up late at night. We are all excited about getting to work and already psychologically preparing ourselves for freezing our noses and finger tips in the backdeck. Get ready for excitement and adventures coming up soon!! Aloha!

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