10 February, 2004
Cloudy skies and calm seas were made for a pleasant day. We were down to four guns, but the seismic streamer and the muti-beam were both working well and collecting good data. The moon peaked through the clouds balanced on the opposite horizon by the hazy glow of the midnight sun.
As we looked for marine mammals from the bridge, weather ranging from clear skies to snow could be seen in a 360-degree scan of the horizon. As we continued acquiring new data with the streamer, the clouds thickened throughout the morning until by noon we were in a bank of low laying cloud. Interment snow showers left thin patches of white on the green deck that was easily blown off by the slightest breeze.
At 9:30 AM the general alarm sounded. Everyone quickly gathered their emergency gear and a coat and headed for the 03-conference room. The scientists and support staff were waiting quietly in the conference room as Ashley Lowe began taking roll from the room roster. Someone asked for the sign in log, but she didn't have it. Scott the Chief Mate had not brought it. We would have to wait for Scott.
The alarm continued to ring. With everyone in different stages of the day, some from bed, some in the midst of their shifts, we all waited patiently. When Scott arrived, he called to the bridge to cancel the alarm, but he did not release us. He took the time to explain what the drill had been called for and thanked us for our cooperation and seriousness in following the drill.
This drill was to test the fire team with a call to the boiler room. Early in the cruise, they had found that there had been a break on one of the systems that had been repaired. Had it gone unnoticed, it would have made a fire in the boiler room even more dangerous. A bulkhead that should keep a fire in either room separated divides the boiler room and the engine room. Care has to be taken when fighting a fire in either room because fuel and electricity are major concerns. The fire team followed procedures well. The Captain and mate could be heard over the ship's radio following up on all the personnel and steps followed.
Too often, people don't take the time to communicate why things are done in a parcticular way. Everyone appreciated Scott's efforts to make us feel important to the process and to understand what the drill accomplished for the crew.
Everyone is feeling well. Today using the exercise room seems to be on a first come, first served basis. There are people waiting to use the equipment in the morning before lunch. It is as though everyone is trying to regain some normalcy by working out. For many, breaking a sweat helps to complete the transition back to a more normal routine, not on simply surviving a day made difficult due to wrestling with the rough sea.
Who's Who? Information about the people that are making this cruise a success, starting with the science people that work the AM shift with me.
Marcy Davis '96 UTIG - Is from Los Angeles and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in geology. Received her MS on 2002 in Geology from UTIG and is currently employed by the UT institute for Geophysics and teaches community college geology. She works as a naturalist for a small cruise line. This is Marcy's second cruise to Antarctica. Her primary area of interest in geology is tectonics of the trans Antarctic mountains.
She enjoys the outdoors swimming and playing the cello and violin. She really likes authentic Mexican food. She will be writing a book on the roadside geology of Tennessee this summer.
Jill VanTongeren '96 Michigan -Home is Grand Rapids, MI. Will graduate in May 2004 with a degree in Honors Geology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She completed her degree in four years and will be teaching classes for Science Discovery in Boulder, CO in the summer of 2004 She plans to get her PhD in geochemistry, and will begin applications to graduate schools this fall.
She parcticipates in a variety of outdoor activities like downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, camping and fishing. She also likes to read. She has two younger sisters. Her father is a social worker for the Hudsonville Public School System and her mother is a secretary and also works at the university to provide assistance for hearing disabled students using adaptive technology.
Jerome Hall '96 OSU -24 years old. From Louisville, KY. Attended the College of Wooster in Wooster Ohio. Wooster is a small liberal arts college and he received his degree in geology with a thesis on the carbonates on the north shore Jamaica in 2002. He is a first year masters student in geology. His current area of research is Antarctic Tectonics.
His dad is an English professor and her mother is a writer. Jerome has a background in IT. He enjoys arguing about any topic and considers it a "sport" and leisure pastime, but prefers discussions on philosophy. He enjoys wilderness backpacking and camping.
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