Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BACK TO SOUTH AMERICA

We are almost home or, better put, in Punta Arenas, Chile, after almost 4 days of crossing the Drake passage. I must say it was not the most pleasant of the crossings. A couple of nights ago most of us could not sleep at all with the ship shaking and bouncing against the waves. It was the worst night of the whole cruise and certainly this was the roughest crossing among all the three cruises we had down here in the past year.

If you look at the map below you can see that we are only a few ten miles from the tip of South America and a few hundred miles from Punta Arenas. People aboard are starting to get excited to get ashore again, go for a drink at O’li Joes or simply walk around and go for a dinner somewhere. We are scheduled to arrive in PA at 5:00 pm today but will only be allowed onshore after clearing customs with the Chilean Officers.

The map above also shows the whole Ship track during our FOODBANCS-3 cruise. It was quite a long way down to 68 degrees south at our furthest station G and back, passing through all those tiny islands, sounds and channels at the tip of the Antarctic peninsula, close to James Ross Island in the Weddell Sea and to the King George Islands in the North. It was definitely another memorable trip! We come back home again with hundreds of amazing pictures and new experiences from this still extreme and remote place that is the Antarctic continent.

This afternoon after a meeting in the lounge for instructions about traveling affairs and hotel accommodations in PA we had a break for a team picture with all our science groups from University of Hawaii and North Carolina State University and from our extremely helpful friends from Raytheon Polar services. That must be the last opportunity when we are all together since this is the end of our journey. Yes, FOODBANC-3 project is over. Or at least the fieldwork part is over. Now we have tons of samples to bring back to our labs to start a massive routine of analyzing and interpreting data. We hope to be back once in a while and share with you some our preliminary results. Some of those answers about how marine communities are responding to climate warming will be found in here. Stay tuned! ALOHA! And see you all back in Hawaii.

44 comments:

fazillefrere said...

i'm looking forward for your updates. i am gonna do meteorology for master and apparently my supervisor-to-be is concentrating on antarctic climate system. but, my masters degree is on monsoon and cold surges. nice reading your blog anyway.

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