3 March, 2000
On board the R.V. Gould; still in sight of Punta Arenas
Question 13: What is the official name of the water around Antarctica?
We are still in Punta Arenas, now anchored a little way off the dock. Since we had all been cleared through customs and immigration, no one could leave the ship, and the port officials needed the berthing space on the dock that the Gould was occupying. So last night we pushed off and anchored with our one engine, a port tug standing by to make sure we didn't hit anything. It is a beautiful calm day with big puffy clouds only occasionally obscuring the sun. Many of us are working or reading on the decks. I hope we do not use up all of our good weather waiting here by Punta Arenas. The Drake Passage is supposed to be one of the worst seas in the world, but it can also be very peaceful. I have my fingers crossed for "Lake Drake", as many in the USAP have named passages with good weather. The technician arrived at 5 pm, ferried out to us by an AGUNSA boat. He had the good sense to bring the necessary circuit boards in his carry-on luggage--this proved important as the airline lost his checked luggage!
By dinner he had the problem fixed, although the first board he put in place of the burned one was faulty also. Fortunately he brought two with him and the second one was fine. Much relief. Everyone cheerily took their last pictures of Punta Arenas. He left and we started up both engines and headed north in the Strait of Magellan. After less than an hour they turned off one of the engines and started going in circles. Not a good sign. We returned to Punta Arenas and spent an hour running maneuvers to look at the problem. An electrical one similar to the previous one. The technician was recalled from the airport and brought back on board. I hope we will eventually leave. The Gould is a miniature community compressed into a very small space and is very vertical. Everyone spends lots of time going up and down stairs, especially if you forget something! The bridge is the 04 level and the highest you can get inside the ship. The O3 level is mostly deck and is where the life boats are. The 02 level is all berthing and where many of the crew have their rooms.
My room is stateroom 203 which I share with Hillary. It is the smallest stateroom on the ship, but some of the people bound for Palmer are sleeping five people to a berthing van in the hold so I can't complain. Vans are basically container units. There are quite a few on board, all with different uses. Two have been fitted with bunks for berthing quarters. The 02 level deck is the main passenger-use deck. It wraps 360 degrees around the staterooms, has a view down of the main deck level, and (at the bow or front end of the ship) is the staging area for the anchors. While we are underway, it has the best view out. While we were at the dock in Punta Arenas, the gangway to and from the dock connected up to this level.
The O1 level has some berthing and some public space. The Marine Projects Coordinator and Chief Scientist have their offices on this level. The lounge/meeting area is here as well as the exercise room. Everything in the exercise room is attached to the floor and there are no free weights to go rolling around! The lounge has a TV area with couches and can be separated from the meeting area by a sliding divider. They have quite a few movies on board. It will be crowded in here when the seas get bad. The meeting area has a library with scientific references as well as fiction and nonfiction books for general use. The table is bolted down as are the couches and TV/VCR. The meeting area of the lounge is where our science group gathers daily at 10 am to go over the plan of the day (POD). Now it is mostly for general discussion and to get into the habit of meeting regularly. At Palmer the meetings will involve current research activities and will be held earlier in the day.
Answer 12: Water reduces your body heat 25% faster than air.
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