Posts Tagged ‘Ship’

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All aboard for the LARISSA cruise

January 4, 2010

Research Vessel (RV) N.B Palmer, dockside Punta Arenas, Chile

Ted writes:

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.

Ronald in the lab onboard the ship

Cargo 'flat-rack' in hold of the N.B. Palmer

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Punta Arenas, Chile

December 3, 2009

Rob writes:

We arrived in Punta Arenas last night around 10 p.m. local time. Carola, a representative from the support group, AGUNSA, met us at the airport and arranged transportation to a local hotel. It was good to finally take a break from traveling. We had about 28 hours of airports and airplanes since leaving Denver, and we were ready for a little sleep.

Ted and Magellan

Ted Scambos rubs the toe of a figure on the Magellan Statue, for good luck

This morning we walked through town on our way to the AGUNSA warehouse at the seaport. We made sure to pay homage to the statue of Ferdinand Magellan. For good luck in Antarctica, you must rub the brass toe of one of the figures on the Magellan statue. If you travel through Christchurch, New Zealand, you have to go find the statue of the famous polar explorer Roald Amundsen and rub his nose. That statue of Amundsen has what is possibly the shiniest nose of any you’ll see!

Further on, at the warehouse, the equipment manager, Octavio, outfitted us for the wilds of the Antarctic Peninsula. Many thanks, Octavio!

After gathering various odds and ends, we strolled down the pier for a spur of the moment visit to the British Research vessel RRS James Cook, one of the newest research ships on the sea. Built in Norway, the James Cook operates worldwide, from the tropics to the edge of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, enabling cutting edge multidisciplinary research. The Chief Officer, Richard, showed us around the very modern vessel, pointing out the research facilities and the impressive engineering spaces.

Later this afternoon, we’ll be out gathering last minute equipment for the field (a pair of field glasses or binoculars and some treats from the local market).

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