27 October, 1996

Subject: Re: Journal 27 October 1996

Live from the Polar Duke at Palmer Station

Location: 64.46S X 64.03W Wind Speed: 2.1 m/sec

Boat Speed: at dock Wind Direction: 68 degrees

Boat Heading: at dock Barometer: 100.76 mb

Humidity: 91 % Air Temp.: -1.3 C

General Weather Conditions: Although the barometric pressure is the highest it has been all month, the skies are cloudy. Light snow in the late afternoon.

We finally pulled the ship into the dock at Palmer Sation by about 0930. It took a long time to squeeze the Poler Duke into the ice choked harbor at Palmer. We literally pounded the ice out of the way and left red paint on the larger icebergs.

Since we had completed all of our work, today was devoted to fun and our first mission of the day was to climb the Marr Glacier. I was surprised at how high we climbed. There was alot more snow at Palmer now than a month ago and that impeded our progress slightly. The route up the glacier is marked with flags and roped off. There are many dangerous cravasses that could swallow you whole, so we stayed on the trail. There was not a magnificent view from the top because it was cloudy. We took group pictures in front of the sign that tells you not to go any furthur and had a snow ball fight.

Later in the day some of us went over to Bonaparte Point. Most of it is off limits because of the breeding populations of birds. The trip to the point is interesting because of the mode of transportation. We crossed the channel where the ship was docked by a hand-pulled cable car called 'the trolley'. One person at a time sat on the seat encased in a float coat, while the rest of us pulled them over with the rope. At Bonaparte we saw lots of plant life, lichens, mosses and the Antarctic bundle grass. There was a huge elephant seal that was doing an excellent imitation of a rock very close to the trolley. Aldelie penguins were off some distance away, some were wandering over the pack.

Tomorrow we leave for Copa and than finally Punta Arenas!

Margaret Brumsted

NSF Teacher in Antarctica

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