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>Seas: none
>Winds 1 knot
>Temp -0.6 C ; w/ wind chill –0.2 C
>Location: Latitude 63 degrees 46.48’ S; Longitude 62 degrees 03.31 W

Above: Sailboat in Andvord Bay, near Paradise Bay
Below: Chilean Station in Paradise Bay.
Bottom: Iceberg like meringue.
Click on each image for larger view.

17 December 2004

We’re heading North…….

We have been traveling through ice for the last 6 hours and our traveling speed has been only a few knots (1 knot = 1.14 mph) of the 11 knots we are capable of doing. The positive side of this slower pace is that we have been afforded an extended gaze at the scenic ice fields and mountains that flank the Neumayer Passage and the Gerlache Strait. These are among the most picturesque areas that we have visited on this trip. There is little wind to riffle the sea surface and we are enchanted by the mirror-like reflections of the nearby mountain peaks. The sun is shining and the temperature feels warm — it’s another beautiful day in Antarctica.

Although we will not be collecting any biological samples until tomorrow afternoon, the physical oceanographers are busily collecting water samples. On the southern track of this cruise, a hot spot in the water column was detected in the vicinity of Deception Island. This temperature signature was hypothesized to be a consequence of geothermal activity, and the samples that are taken today and tomorrow will be used to evaluate this idea.

Both Science groups are beginning to pack up some of our equipment. Everything that was shipped, brought, or bought for the last four weeks has to be prepared for return to our home institutions. This is bittersweet for we definitely want to come home, but we know that this incredible adventure is coming to an end.



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Palmer Station, Antarctica
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Projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation

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