Posted on October 31, 2011
Hey good hustle, penguins. I’m sure you’re very fearsome and aggressive to each other, but it’s really hard to take you seriously when you are 20-inch-tall flightless birds.
Just imagine them in a high school cafeteria. Oh no she di’in’t! GIRL FIGHT!!!
Posted on October 30, 2011
Posted on October 29, 2011
Posted on October 28, 2011
Posted on October 27, 2011
We’re still wearing long underwear and puffy parkas and hats every day. We’re gearing up for Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’re looking out our windows at a very convincing field of ice and snow. And yet here we are calling it “springtime.”
There are a few clues that life here is transitioning into summer, though. First: the penguins are nesting. Second: it stays light out until almost midnight. The farther you are from the Equator, the more darkness you get during your hemisphere’s winter, and the more daylight you get during your hemisphere’s summer. Pretty soon here, we’ll have light at all hours. I love the stretched-out sunrises and sunsets. Nothin’ like a pink-tinged glacier late in the evening…
…and at 11pm…
Posted on October 26, 2011
Just in case being in Antarctica on my birthday wasn’t going to be awesome enough, Luke went ahead and made me a SNOWBALL LAUNCHER.
What an epic, creative, and geographically-appropriate gift, right? I am the luckiest. Then, this afternoon, everyone surprised me with an enormous round of happy birthdays over our radio network.
…and I get corndogs and carrot cake for dinner. I am having a good day.
Posted on October 25, 2011
When I was a young girl, a snow day was a rare and glorious thing. Here at Palmer Station, it seems like every other day is a snow day – or, more specifically, a snow-and-ice day. It’s springtime, which apparently means: wind. Whiteness. Generally unpredictable yet predictably cold weather. The winter sea ice broke up just a few weeks ago, sending vast fields of brash on its merry way. Every few days, though, strong winds (30+ knots) blow the brash ice right back into our little bay, leaving us quite stuck. Most of the scientists on station rely on little rubber motorboats called Zodiacs to do their field work, and yup:
…doesn’t look like these puppies are going anywhere anytime soon. If the wind doesn’t change and the ice stays like this for another week or so, the sea will be completely cemented over. Rut-roh. But here’s the silver lining: we’ll be able to walk across the ice! WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME! At that point, we can – no joke – take a chainsaw into the middle of the bay and cut a hole for the sake of (a) science, and (b) spying on seals. In the meantime, there’s not a lot to do, so I’m spending the day exploring and working on my Halloween costume.
Posted on October 24, 2011
Posted on October 22, 2011
Posted on October 21, 2011
Yesterday the ARSV Gould left the pier, taking most of the winter crew northbound. I’m usually the one leaving on the Gould – either on my way farther south for a research cruise or heading home – so it was strange and a little eerie to be left on land while the ship pulled away… This is it! Those of us who are still here are here to stay for a long time.
There isn’t time for second thoughts, though, because tradition (and peer pressure) says that we all must jump into the water while those leaving on the Gould wave goodbye. After that it’s a mad dash to the hot tub. By the time you’ve thawed out enough to think, the boat has already disappeared from view and it’s just you and your newly-adopted family. Video of our polar plunge coming soon!