Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thursday (20/12/12)

My cabin all to myself!
Toilet and shower are quite big too!
Today was a really quiet day which was nice after yesterday and in preparation for our arrival tomorrow morning! I was able to catch up a bit with sorting through pictures and blog entries. We stopped twice on the way to deploy some bottom drifters which are having their first Antarctic trial (developed by scientists from Florida). The device is measuring salinity, depth, temperature, velocity of the bottom and will in the future hopefully help to find out more about bottom currents (direction and speed). Elizabeth is on the ship to deploy them. Unfortunately, the ship is delayed and she will miss her flight and has to spend Christmas and New Years with us at Rothera ... But being from Florida, she has never seen snow before. So this will be a pretty intense experience ;)
The 2 seals were not bothered
by us at all!
Drifter about to go in.
Last day on the ship and although I am really excited about arriving at Rothera, seeing everything and starting my work properly, I am also a little sad to leave the ship. The crew has been really nice and we did not have much to do (in the long-term that would drive me mad though). Usually science cruises are really busy, but the ship was coming in late this season as it is and further delaying it with CTD’s (Conductivity – Temperature – Depth measurements) would have not made much sense. 
This picture was taken on the bridge!
The sun never sets but soon enough
it will never rise!
(Photo: Mike Meredith)
I also went on the bridge a couple of times and was able to ask questions, which was really good. Today, when the ship was navigated through some ice, 2 seals were on an icefloat really close by (maybe about 5m/max 10m away from the ship).
Against my expectation they did not jump off as quickly as possible but stayed on the float and just looked up briefly not really being bothered by us at all ... Guess they have seen the JCR before and knew that we meant no harm. I also had a pretty good view on Adelaide Island which will be my home for the next 18 month! On that note I am off watching the deployment of the second bottom drifter! Afterwards it will be the last dinner on the ship.

The bottom drifter did not get deployed as it was not communicating with the satellite... Science is never straight forward and easy I guess.
A couple of landscape shots (click on them and they are larger):

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