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14 January, 2000


I spent the better part of the day on station today. There were some essential things I needed to get done. Laundry for one, and some email correspond. While I was at Humble Island yesterday, I collected 2 penguins eggs that did not hatch. Donna Patterson showed me how to "blow out the egg." She made it look real easy. She demonstrated on a egg she had collected. Well, I got one egg about half way done. A bit frustrated, I put them back in the refrigerator. I will work on them again tonight. Basically, you use a hypodermic needle to inject air pressure in the egg causing it to push out the contents. Sounds easy, huh! I also work on the penguin skeleton. I trimmed off as much as I can and set it out in a warm dry place (ie: furnace).

I went with Dean Pakulski, Karen McCrery and Jerrah Meader to Station E. They needed to collect sea water at that location and invited me along. Moments after we zipped away from Palmer we looked around and noticed the ocean had some serious looking swells. There was a moment that we considered going back to Palmer. In fact, following us in their own boat, were 2 photographers who turned back because of the size of the swells. It was a rough ride, but we took it slow and arrived at Station E...everyone still in the zodiac. The photographers bailed and decided it was not going to be a Kodac moment. As we passed by a condsiderably large iceberg, the wave action became even more intense. The waves picked up speed and bounced back at us after hitting the iceberg.

We reached Station E, no worse for the wear. Dean prepared the Niskin bottle to collect water samples at 5 meters. This parcticular bottle holds 5 liters of sea water. Once the bottle is sent down a sender is attached to the cable and it slides down the line until it hits a trigger on the bottle. Once it makes contact with the trigger, the bottle snaps shut with the sample water inside. It is hoisted up and the sample is emptied into collection tanks. Two collection tanks later and we were on our way back. I think I could have talked myself into being seasick. Good to be back on land!

Yesterday,there was an announcement made on the all-call, "Please do not flush the toilets because the pumps are temporarily shut off." This only lasted a few minutes, but it prompted me to ask about the water supply arrangement at Palmer. It is Norm Lavoie's job to take care of the water needs of the station. He explained that the water here is the cleanest you can get anywhere. The water is taken from the ocean. It is in pristine condition already. (Pristine is a pretty good starting place) Sea water is piped into the sewer system....no need to have fresh water there. The potable water we have for drinking, cooking and showering comes from sea water that is first pumped through sand filters, then a reverse osmosis system, and finally through UV treatment. In fact, lots of juices are always on hand for people to drink because the water is so clean it is missing many important nutrients.

Well, that is it for me today. Thank you for all your emails, comments, questions and overall shared excitement. I enjoy hearing from you and sharing with you.

More later-


Dean Pakulski getting the Niskin bottle ready to lower.

Penguin egg prior to washing.

Norm Lavoie shows off the potable water tanks!

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