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9 April, 2003


I sleep on the top bunk of my cabin, which I love because from where I lay, I can see right out of the porthole (window). This morning I awoke at first light and without my glasses, it looked like I was seeing rock formations and snow. I quickly sat up, put my glasses on, and jumped out of bed. I ran over to the window to look out and I saw the most beautiful snow covered mountains I have ever seen. They are so pristine. Any human has never touched them and it is impossible to describe the beauty. I hope the pictures will give you some idea. I dressed hurriedly and ran up to the bridge where I stayed with my camera for hours. I saw several huge icebergs, humpback whales, penguins, and seals! It was fascinating to look way out and see a white tip rising out of the water. Then, when I got the binoculars to get a better look, they were these tremendous icebergs!

Pancake ice looks just like a pancake. They are little, round, flat pieces of ice.

I've been getting e-mails requesting pictures of icebergs. Well, here you are!

This beautiful berg sits right out in front of the station.

This is what I saw this morning when I work up and looked out of the porthole.

As I hurriedly got dressed for the day and went up to the bridge, where the captain and mates drive the ship, I saw the sun just beginning to peak over the snow covered mountains.

These are just some of the controls at the bridge. I could not get a pictu re of all of the controls and charts because the lighting would have kept t hem from being seen. We are welcome at the bridge, but we must stay behind the aft, meaning back, doors. This morning when I went up to the bridge, I was the only person up there for a while because it was so early. The fi rstmate and I got into a conversation about my job and I asked him a lot of questions. He told me to come forward and he would show me all of the con trols and tell me waht they do. He also taught me how to read the charts w hich is what they call a map. Actually, the charts are maps that they plot their course on with a compass and a protractor. The radar is constantly picking up obstacles in the maps' path via satellite that would have to be manuevered around- such as icebergs. Evidently, there is a lot of math tha t must be learned in order to become a ships' captain, firstmate, or mate. The captain of the ship is the boss. His firstmate is second-in-command w hen he is off duty. Mates are in charge when the captain and firstmate are both off duty. Captains' and mates' work is so intense that they must be on duty four hours on and eight hours off.

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