5 July, 2003
As we continue our preparations, I chance upon a portrait of the ship's namesake, Nathaniel B. Palmer. Some credit the American sailor for discovering the Antarctic continent.
Nathaniel B. Palmer was master of the Hero, a 47-foot sloop when he recorded "stood over for the Land" (i.e. Antarctica) in his log on 31 July, 1820.
In 1992, the National Science Foundation decided to name its newly chartered 94-meter long icebreaker after the young captain. Although the Palmer was built by the Edison Chouest Offshore company in Louisiana for Antarctic research, it was deployed to the Arctic for the first time this summer when another icebreaker had to undergo repairs. Needless to say the ship's crew is very excited about seeing another part of the world.
Finally, about 7 pm, we take to the sea.
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