Things are nearly packed, and the full crew and science team are now living aboard the N.B. Palmer. But we are still at the pier in Punta Arenas, awaiting a few items for the science work. Already, though, it is as if the cruise has begun: most of us eat our meals in the galley, the labs are busy in preparation, the hallways are bustling, and the decks are active with moving and strapping down cargo.
The LARISSA 2010 cruise will depart today at around 2 p.m., head east through the Straits of Magellan, then turn right and cross the fabled Drake Passage. The Drake Passage may be churning with monstrous waves and intense gales, or if we’re lucky it may be calm. The Lawrence Gould (another U.S. research ship) recently had a smooth and remarkably easy trip, and we’re sure that means the Palmer is in for the works. With luck, we’ll be across in four days or so, and then we’ll begin a huge science agenda. Every facet of earth and life sciences will be of interest to this group, and we are equipped to measure all of it.
The LARISSA AMIGOS and GPS team is all packed. The gear is on a flat-rack in the hold and we have set up an office and workshop in one of the dry lab areas aboard ship.