Sunday, May 31, 2009

Deadliest Catch.... well not quite


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

Where the Skype are you?

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

Happy Birthday Zac

Today is my stepson's 21st birthday. It seems like just yesterday he was following Shaun and Brittany around looking up to them. Now they really look up to him, (he is about 6'4").

Happy birthday Zac

Two day weekend

We work long weeks here, usually 6 day 54 hour weeks. Once a month we have a 2 day weekend. Our schedule has be messed up with the ship coming and going on the science fishing and whaling cruises , so this break was long overdue. Of course right before the start of the weekend something has to break. Friday one of our main glycol circ pumps went out. Fortunately the repairs went smoothly and we started the break close to on time.
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

Palmer Station group photo

This is the group photo of station personnel taken for the Opra interview. I think I am easy to spot. This group includes all support and the current science folks on station. And in case you were wondering, thats Neil. Photo by Sean Bonnett

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Can't seem to keep up

A number of things has happened since the last blog entry. Ill try to get you up to date. Around the time of the bumper rescue we had started GSAR training. This is Glacier search and rescue. If some one gets lost or hurt on the Glacier or back yard we have to bring them in. Our first day of training was cut short due to high winds on the glacier. We did some more training last Wednesday. We worked on roping together and climbing with cressix knots(sp?). It was challenging but a good exercise

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

Bumper wrangling

Hard to tell but that's me. This past week we had some rough weather and one of our pier bumpers that protect the Gould when docking came lose. These bumpers are quite large. The chain on one end is attached in a pulley system to allow it to ride with the waves. The pin holding it all together is welded to the bracket and it broke causing the pulley and weight to go to the bottom but still attached to the bumper. The waves were very rough and we had to corral the bumper with a zodiac and the secure it to the pier while we figured out how to bring up the weight and pully. Things might have been easier except fo the 4 cargo millvans left by the ship to be picked up later. We don't have anyway to move them from the pier. We finally came up with a solution that included some one getting a chain hocked to the anchor chain and since I was already in the boat. In the end we got the hardware back and repaired the pin and bracket. It was a timely repair because the Gould was returning from a science fishing trip the next morning and with out the bumper they would not have been able to dock.

I am trying to up load some video to the Picasa site that is good. Check it out.