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5 January, 2000


I am somewhere half way between Punta Arenas and Palmer Station. We are crossing Drake Passage which is known as the roughest waters on the planet. I believe it! We have done nothing but heave and hoe for 2 days. I feel best when I am lying down. Most people on board are doing the same thing. It takes a while for you to convince your inner ear that you are not dizzy. I have met some interesting folks while on board.

There is a media crew from U.S. News that will be getting off at Palmer.

There is crew studying sound waves and their behavior to various events. They are developing a technique to identify signature sound waves produced from things like volcanic eruptions and bomb explosions both in the water and on land. This is all done to ensure the integrity of the Antarctic Treaty and it's signatories. The purpose of the Antarctic Treat is to ensure that Antarctica is only used for peaceful scientific purposes. It is a shining example of how science is used to promote peace and environmental awareness.

There are also several scientists on board. They are going to stay on board the ship and gather samples along the the Palmer/LTER grid which is off the Peninsula coast. The grid is approximately 1000 meters long and the ship will stop at each 100 meter interval to collect data. They are gathering information about the marine environment, information on temperature, conductivity, parcticulates, chlorophyll, phytoplankton, UV radiation, light saturation, etc. The data they collect is added to almost 2 decades of long-term ecological research. You can imagine how almost 20 years of data is extremely important in helping scientists understand the biological and physical interplay of the Antarctic marine environment.

Well, I will close for now. There is a meeting this evening at 1830 hours. (6:30pm) to go ever what everyone will be doing. I will report on that tomorrow.

Talk to you later......


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