November 5, 1995
Location: 61 33' south Latitude 54 34' west Longitude
What a wild night. The streamer was deployed, we had left the shelter of the Bransfield
Straight and had headed back into the Drake Passage. It was a restless night for
everyone, parcticularly the Marine Technicians who had to bring in the streamer due to
rough conditions at about 3:00 AM. I woke this morning to 15 foot seas and strong
winds, quite different from the calm beautiful morning on Saturday.
One thing that you find out quickly on a research ship is that time is relative. There are
no weekends or set schedules. People get things done when that need to be done. That
means 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Sometimes that means being out on deck at 4:00
am after you have been working since 6:00 am the previous day.
We returned from the Drake back to Bransfield Straight where we are currently doing a
series of testing using the ZAPS Sled from Oregon State. We are trying a couple of sites
near what appear to be active volcanic areas from our recent ocean bottom mapping of
the area. We will also be taking water samples at a variety of depths using the CTD
Collector. The OSU team will be testing these water samples for Helium and Radon in
The seas and winds have calmed considerably from this morning, but it won't be a clear
night tonight. We have been discussing at dinners how it would be nice to get out and
look at the southern stars. We hope to get some relief soon. Most of our current
weather information is provided through the University of Wisconsin at Madison. They
have a group of meteorologists who prepare weather maps and forecasts for the
Palmer, the Polar duke and Palmer Station here in Antarctica. They use satellite
information to prepare maps, and we get them by email on a regular basis.
For the most part it has been a very quite day. When we are working with the ZAPS sled,
the ship is not moving. At that point we say that the ship is at station. In calm weather it
is really nice. You can go out on deck, and you only have to contend with the wind or
breeze. The birds fly a little closer, and the ice comes toward you. The pace of nature is
very relaxing, and it is common to have many of the staff out on deck just sitting and
seeing the sights.