28 October, 1996
Subject: Re: Journal 28 October 1996
Live from the Polar Duke enroute to Copa Cabana
Location: 64.41S X 63.10W Wind Speed: 12.1 m/sec
Boat Speed: 5.1 knots Wind Direction: 5.7 degrees
Boat Heading: 20 degrees Barometer: 995.63 mb
Humidity: 85.2 % Air Temp.: -1.7 C
General Weather Conditions: Beautiful in the morning, sunny, clear, bright. As we approached the Neumeyer for our fourth and final chance at photography nirvana, the clouds closed in and the snow began. It snowed into the evening hours, hard at times.
We left Palmer Station this morning for King George Island and Copa Station. Prior to departure, since it was such a beautiful morning, some of us took a little walk around the 'backyard'. This is what the folks at Palmer call the area around the glacier. There was an igloo to explore, some of the people at Palmer had built it as a little get-away. The morning was so clear that we finally were able to see the mountains and glaciers that surround Palmer.
Leaving Palmer we were treated to some of the best scenery of this entire expedition. The ship cut through the pack ice and the mountain ranges and glaciers of Anvers Island were beautifully clear. There were dozens of icebergs between our port side and the shore. One of them, an immense block of ice with fairy tale turrets, had been blocking the entrance to Palmer the week prior to our arrival. Apparently, as the top of the ice-berg melts, the equalibrium shifts and it topples over to reveal the sculpted bottom.
All of these questions are from Axtell Park Middle School in South Dakota:
1. I bet you're glad the in situ stuff is over! Now how would you explain the basketball game?
You can't even imagine how happy we were to see the in situ incubation boxes taken apart and packed! The basketball game was played in the hold which is quite spacious. We did have to clear some equipment and boxes out of the way. There was plenty of room for a very vigorous half court game. We also had a regulation backboard and net mounted near the
top of the hold.
2. Do you have to give back the clothes?
Yes, and I can't wait. We are sick of seeing each other in the same clothes.
3. How long will you be online?
I will be online until November 3. After 11/3 you may reach me at home. My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Did it cost alot of money to get there (Antarctica)?
My plane ticket from Providence, RI to Punta Arenas was over $3,000. The cost of doing research on a ship is extremely expensive, probably more so on the Polar Duke because of our remote location. I think the ship time is approximately $10,000 to $12,000 per day!!!!
5. Did any icebergs hit the boat?
Yes, we had many collisions with icebergs, but it is not a problem. The hull of the Polar Duke is reinforced and has the strength of an icebreaker. Sometimes we will push against icebergs on purpose, to dock the ship for example, but usually we avoid them. The smaller chuncks of ice that the ship plows through are called growlers because of the noise they make as they slide along the hull.
6. What is it like to sleep on a ship?
I like sleeping on a ship. It's usually quiet and the rocking motion is is very comfortable.
7. Would you ever want to do it again?
Yes, I would like to come to Antarctica again. There is alot more to see and I think that I would like to spend some time at Palmer or McMurdo station.
Thanks for all the questions!
NSF Teacher in Antarctica
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