Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I leave here with mixed emotions for the new friends I have made but also with great anticipation to again be with my beautiful wife.
So so long Palmer Station, It's been a great trip.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
One of the big events for winter over crews in Antarctica is the celebration of Mid Winter. All the stations send greetings to each othe and some are very creative. The ones that come from the other countries are cool. I'll be posting them on the Picasaweb site when I get the files converted.
Palmer Station was no different and marked the occasion 2 days early, due to the LM Gould's scheduled arrival. We roasted a pig and had a fairly formal dinner, well as formal as you can be in Antarctica. Check out the rig used to turn the pig. It became known as "Craig Riggin' ". But It worked and we had a great dinner.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Don't worry, no haircut for me. Just some wild color. One of the guys on station was helping raise some money for AIDS relief in Africa. He raffled off tickets to cut volunteers hair. We had 4 victims: Myself, the cook, the Doc and our Logistics person (2 girls, 2 guys). Of course the girls ended up bald after a few different styles were tried, the cook looked like Fred Flinstone and I had some interesting color happening. A few shot are here and there are more on the Picasaweb site. A fun evening was had and several hundred dollars raised (remember there arn't many of us here)
One of the long lasting traditions here is the Palmer Plunge. When the boat heads back to Chile, we send off the North bound folks by jumping off the pier into the 28 degree water. This video sais it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soEdFkG7x8M. There should be a R rating on some of the clip. This was the first time for me and most likely the last.
The last item today was most likely my last boating trip on the Zodiak. The weather was great for once and we spent about 2 hours out traveling to near by islands. We only have about 5 hours of daylight so time is limited. We saw lots of furseals and elephant seals as well as giant pectrols.
Lots more photos coming up on the Picasaweb site
Sunday, May 31, 2009
One of the perks we get here is a chance to "fishing" with the science crews. The Fish Beakers need victims for their tests so every 10 days or so they swap places with the Whalers (the whale observers) and go get fish. They use nets and pots to catch several types of Ice Fish that live near the bottom. Some of these fish actually have no hemoglobin in their blood so it is white, very strange.
The LM Gould that I came here on comes back to take the science crews out for their tasks. This time 5 of us from station got to go. It's kinda a boondoggle because we only do what we want to as far as helping. They have plenty of help but it's kinda cool to get involved at least for a bit. I helped with a number of net pulls and catching the pots. We went through some rough weather and I decided it would be beter to stay in bed for the morning on the second day. We spent 4 days on the water.
While resting I managed to get through the "Long Way Down" which is the cronicle of Ewan McGreggor and Charlie Boorman's ride on motorcycles from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. It was a great compliment to "Long Way Around" which was ther first trip from London to NY. I highly recomend both.
Be sure to see more fishing photos and station activity on the Picasa web site
Thursday, May 21, 2009
A few weeks back one of our science guys (Neil, see his blog too) was part of an interview with Opra. It was aired today. Sorry I was not able to post in time but might catch the rerun. It showed some of the station and at the end a goup of us waving to the camera. Another 5 seconds toward my 15 minuets of fame. The photo is us watching the airing of in our lounge.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
A couple of people organized a scavenger hunt for Saturday afternoon. We were give a sheet of about 90 small photos taken around station of various thing. The object was to find all these things and take a photo with a marker and see how many we could get. My group got 63 but I think 78 won. It was a good way to pass the afternoon. Here were some of the examples;
Sunday I will make Dad's Chili Pie for dinner. Hopefully everyone will survive.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I also spent several days building fish tanks for the research group from the U of Maine. They go out for about 4 days and catch these ugly fish that live in deep dark waters and bring them back and put them in the tanks we built. Then they do all kinds of things with the fish that I don't even know how to decribe. If this interests anyone go to the U of Maine marine science web site and look for Dr Bruce Sidel's work.
Today was a very interesting day. The morning found us watching one of our science tech interview with Opra. It will air in May sometime. The show is called "where the Skype are you" and was interviewed on the board walk outside my shop. Ill post when we know the air date. Funny thing about Skype is that it is banned here due to band width issues but they allowed this segment to work.
The afternoon found me helping the"Birders" out on a neighboring island track some baby giant Petrols. Two of the guys grabbed and weighed them while I recorded the info. They are big ugly birds with a fisty attitude but cool never the less.
There are lots more pictures on the Picasa site, so enjoy
Friday, May 1, 2009
I am trying to up load some video to the Picasa site that is good. Check it out.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Today is Sunday April 19th. I would like to remind everyone that this is the 14th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Please take a moment to remember and reflect.
Tom (my on ice supervisor) and I decided to take a hike up the glacier today. After getting settled into a good week of work without to many distraction it was time for a break. The hike to the top is only about 20 min if you don't stop to look around, which we did a lot of. We still don't have much snow so there was a lot of ice to walk on but we did so without incident. We saw some great views from the top.
This week we have GSAR training (glacier search and rescue). Hope to have some good pictures from that
More Phots of the hike on the Picasa web site
Monday, April 13, 2009
We had our first two day weekend since arriving here. (we normally work a 54 hour, 6 day week but what else is there to do). The days are getting shorter so taking advantage of time off during the day is important. We will never have the full 24 hour darkness I had at Pole but we will have some very short days. A group of us decided to do some rec boating on Saturday. We geared up in float coats and water proof pants and put a zodiac in the water. The morning had brought a lot of brash ice into the harbor area. This is chunks of ice mostly from the glacier as it calves off hunks into the water. We ventured out slowly until we cleared the ice. We decided to visit two of the near by islands that are not off limits. One called Jacobs Island was at the outer limits of the boating area which is about 2 miles from station.
We hiked around seeing great views and stumbled across some fur seals.
They sound kinda like dogs growling and are quite nimble even onshore. After a while we decided to head to Deluca Island and a giant Pectrol nest. On the way we slid by the wreckage of a ship (that I can't recall the name of) that sunk here 15 or 20 years ago. It's a 400 ft boat and only 50 ft or so is visible.
I'm told on a calm day you can see the props in the water. After seeing the baby giant Pectrol we headed back to station passing a raft of Penguins on the way. The are very graceful when they swim. We got back just in time for a nap then hamburgers on the grill. Played poker with a group that evening and lasted 2 hours before dropping out.
Sunday was a short work day (about 2 hours) then relax.
Don't forget to check the Picasaweb site for more photos
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I know, a long time between posts. After a full day in Punta Arenas and a night of very interesting bar hoIpping we collected our ECW gear and readied for the boat ride. A good smooth start on the Straights of Magellan.
We have been without internet access since leaving port Saturday afternoon 21 March. We are sailing on the L M Gould, one of 2 Antarctic research vessels. We got word of “ridiculously high” waves in the Drake so it was decided to stay in the lea of South America until things got better. We spent almost 2 days going back and forth on a 25 mile pattern. Then we shot south between t storms. It was a rough crossing just the same. I have never experienced 35' waves and don't really want to do it again. At time the boat was listing 30 to 35 degrees as it rode the waves. We spent 2 days in that shite. I never got sick but felt bad enough to take a pill.. I will attach some rough video taken from the bridge. Notice how Fitz (the food inspector) leans with the boat. The waves had calmed some at this point.
(unable to post the video but check it out on the picasa link on the right)
We broke through the bad weather on the 26th and arrived at Deception Island, our first science stop. Some of the techs are studying the fungi here. Mainly detecting new fungi and seeing how it effects the attempts to preserve the historical remains here. There are whaling stations from the late1800's and ruminants of early exploration. This is still an active volcano with visible geothermal springs. Some of the crew dug in the sand and made “hot tubs” to soak in. Many did a lot of hiking around playing tourist.
The time on the boat has been filled with movies, books and episodes of Lost and Weeds. Weed is a Showtime series that is worth the rental . The food on the boat is great and plentiful although some saw it two or three times during the high seas. I spent some time on the bridge and received the engine room tour.
Our weather bad luck continued as we got stuck in Deception Island during a day long storm. It delayed us due to the small narrow entry to the cauldron. We could have easily been swept into the rocks trying to get out. Our captians name was Joe so we decided to watch “Joe vs the Volcano” in his honor.
Finally on our way south for about 24 hours of sailing down the inland passage of the peninsula to Anvers Island and Palmer station. We had an uneventful docking and now am getting settled in.
Go to my Picasa site (see links) for a ton of photos