PolarTREC teacher Lollie Garay is at it again! Instead of Antarctica, she's now in the Amazon and working with polar researcher, Patricia (Tish) Yager. Learn all about how the poles and the equator are connected in this exciting expedition here.
February 29, 2008
Cloud reflections in the Ross Sea
*Clouds refelected off the Ross Sea
How do you begin to describe an experience that has taken you farther than you thought you were capable of going? The Oden Southern Ocean Expedition carried us 5000 miles from Punta Arenas, SA to McMurdo Station Antarctica. We left family, friends, and basically all human contact behind as we sailed off at the end of November. All of the madness and rush to get everything in order for this lengthy journey stayed on the shores as I watched the continent of South America disappear. We had left the dock around 5am while I slept on Nov 30, but I awakened as we travelled through the Straits of Magellan. It seemed like it took a very long time before we reached the open sea. I had no idea then...
*He (Columbus)enjoyed long stretches of pure delight such as only a seaman may know, and moments of high exultation that only a discoverer can experience. **Rear Admiral **Samuel Eliot Morison*
Captain Mattias on the bridge catwalk.
January 18, 2008
LAT: 29˚75 N
Long: 95˚ 37 W
Temp: 6˚ C
Wind chill: 1˚ C
I am home in Houston, having safely arrived this past weekend. As I traveled for long hours over the Pacific Ocean and the US, I reflected on the incredible experience that I was honored to be a part of. It will be some time before I can sort and organize all the images, moments, and stories I have yet to tell. But this journal entry is about THANKS. First and foremost, to my husband Rey and my family (my sister Rita, daughter Luz, and my son Joaquin) for their...
The day began way too early! We had a small window of time beginning at 7am for breakfast and souvenir shopping! Then a hike for a tour of Scott’s Hut at 8am or a tour of the Aquarium (how much can we cram into a couple of hours???). As I was sitting at breakfast with Kelly Faulkner from NSF up walks Kirk Beckendorf, PolarTREC teacher studying weather here at McMurdo. We talked only briefly as I explained my time crunch, but took time for a quick photo.
Two Texans in Antarctica
Kirk and Lollie meet up in McMurdo!*
By 11:30 we headed for the departure site to begin our ride in Ivan. When we arrived, we were told it would be about an hour’s wait. The plane was coming in from Christchurch and would have to unload passengers and cargo before we could get in. So we milled around and took...
Latitude: 77.57 S
Longitude: 167.40 E
Temperature: -3 degrees C
Wind chill: -14 degrees C
We were informed on the 6th to be ready to leave the Oden between the 7th and the 8th. Everyone went into overdrive! There was last minute packing, cleaning, laundry, etc. that went on almost until departure time. I will try to summarize the events that seemed to overlap the last 24-48 hours. The evening of the 5th we had celebrated the end of the expedition with an exquisite meal and lots of reminiscing about the voyage that has carried this group of 50 through the western seas of Antarctica. Jacob Wegulis, the artist and my Swedish counterpart on this expedition, held a showing of the art work he created during the cruise.
Jacob's Art Show
Jacob discusses his artwork with Capt. Mattias*
Latitude: 77.39 S
Longitude: 165.54 E
Temperature: -10 degrees C
Wind chill: -19 degrees C
We were wakened this morning by the roar of ice breaking and the ships' tremors as it did its job. The reprieve from all the jolting and shaking we had in the Ross Sea didn't last long. Looking out from the window in my cabin all I could see was white everywhere. We were in McMurdo Sound and the Oden had begun to break the channel. The fast ice is about 2 meters thick and seems to span the entire horizon ahead of us. Oden is capable of breaking ice up to 3meters thick.
McMurdo eagerly awaits the Odens' arrival because it depends on an open channel to bring in ships with supplies. Ice breaking takes time. The ship is constantly moving back and forth over the same area in order to break the ice into...
Temperature: -4.1 degrees C
Wind Chill: -21.0 degrees C
Yesterday ended very late for many, and today began very early! We are on the last day of sampling and are in transit around Beaufort Island, looking for the correct station location. The day has been crystal clear with beautiful images of snow and ice around us. This afternoon we can see the TransAntarctic mountains in the distance. People spent several hours early on outside with cameras, hoping for a glimpse of Killer Whales. An alert went out sometime after 8AM that there were whales around. Within minutes the decks were full with cameras poised! Sure enough, there were whales! By the time I reached the deck, all I could see were blowholes in the distance. I'm told there were quite a lot of them...
Latitude: 77 degrees
Longitude: 170 degrees
Temperature: -4.8 degrees C
Wind Chill: -12.9 degrees C
Well, we survived the past 48 hours of rock and rolling in the Ross Sea! The turbulent movement is best described as being in a bumper car and being hit continuously from all sides! Of course, the veteran oceanographers tell me "this is nothing, back in..." It was too difficult to read or do computer work again, so I joined a couple of others downstairs to watch The Blue Planet. Pretty interesting effect watching the ocean on screen and actually feeling it! Back in the cabin later, I decided to time the vibrations. From the moment of the initial impact until the time when the body and ship quit shaking was on average 25 seconds (the longest was 44 seconds) then the next one hit!...
Latitude: 77 S
Longitude: 171 E
Temperature: -6.7 degrees C
**Wind Chill: **-29.1 degrees C!
We are in our second day of rough sailing. The winds have really picked up and have made working outside very difficult. Just walking is hard! This has also been the coldest day so far. The waves are hitting the ship so hard that it is difficult to type, so this will be a short entry.
We enjoyed a special New Year's Eve three- course dinner of reindeer steaks and trimmings. At midnight we gathered on the bridge and the Captain rang the ship's bell signaling in the New Year. Several voices broke out singing Auld Lang Syne as we made a champagne toast.
Midnight New Year's Sun
Midnight on the Ross Sea.
Just before we headed to the bridge, however, someone said we needed party hats - and I was...
Temperature: -0.9 degrees C
Wind chill: -0.9 degrees C
We are in transit to another work station in the Ross Sea. A science meeting was held tonight to plan for the final leg of this journey. It's hard to believe that we are nearing the end. The days seem to melt into each other out here. About 10pm tonight we crossed the International Dateline. We had already made the change in time awhile back, but it was now official. We met at Oden square for a brief toast to this milestone, then most went back to work. We are working near the ice shelf and will begin a transit to the North in the morning. The weather is beginning to change again, more rough seas and wind. I'm told it will get colder soon. There is no sea ice where we are, just the ice shelf in the...
Latitude: 78 degrees
Longitude: 163 degrees
Temperature: 1.5 degrees C
Wind chill: -7.1 degrees C
The Oden entered the Bay of Whales about 6 AM and sailed right up to the fast ice! By the time I got up to the bridge at 6:20, we had pulled back some. Looking straight ahead I saw the ice shelf and a wide v-shaped opening that was iced over. Then I heard the radio on the bridge and realized they were launching the Hugin (small boat used for ice stations). They had assembled a group to go to the ice. Now the real interest here was not so much the ice as it was the chance to set a record! There had been talk for awhile about this area. It seems that the inlet along the coast at the Bay of Whales is the most southern point that any ship can navigate to. We talked about how the Oden might get...
Temperature: -3.5 degrees C
Wind chill: -13.3 degrees C
The skies are clouding up this morning. We've gotten spoiled by the sunny days we've been enjoying. The wind has certainly calmed down, making it feel warmer. There is several work stations planned over the next couple of days as we make our way through the Ross Sea. We were supposed to be in open water this morning, but there is ice that varies in size scattered all around us for miles. The sea can change quite rapidly, and plans have to be adjusted accordingly. Interestingly, no one could tell me if we were at the Ross Sea or not. We have followed a zigzag route, and without street signs, it's hard to tell!
The day was not a good day for ice stations. The first stop was on a very large ice floe....
Wind chill: -21.1
I promised more about the snow and ice on Christmas Day, so here we go. We woke up to one of the most beautiful mornings we have had- sunshine and blue sky! We had an ice station early, and the crew had a close encounter with a seal. It is still undetermined what kind it was, but apparently it reared its head over the side of the Hugin (the little boat used to get to the ice) and gave the team quite a fright. Of course, as with any fish tale, this seal was HUGE by the time lunch came around J
After the ice station, we had most of the day to work leisurely. I spent most of my time outside taking in all the sights and sounds. The real fun began after dinner though. We had an incredible show outdoors as the Oden sailed...
Latitude: 74.38 S
Longitude: 154 33
Wind Chill: -3.9C
This has been an interesting couple of days. The time change has put us a day ahead of Christmas back home in the US. So our families are enjoying Christmas Day as I write this, while we try to get back to the issues at hand. Turns out we have a traveling day with our next work station possibly tomorrow. We are leaving the Amundsen Sea and moving toward the polynya in the Ross Sea. We did however enjoy a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner and celebration! Christmas Eve began with a small group of us singing Christmas carols on the bridge. It was a progressive caroling event as we wound our way down the six floors to the lounge area, picking up friends along the way.
Caroling on the Bridge
Ok, who's off key??? (Left to...
Location: Somewhere in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica
As the Mighty Oden sails through the Southern Ocean, a solitary ship with only the seas and ice around us, we are reminded about how far we are from our families and friends this holiday season. We certainly enjoy the new friendships and camaraderie with our onboard community, but nostalgia is evident as we share memories about familial traditions this time of the year. We also realize and appreciate the adjustments our families are making back home during our absence. And so, our multicultural group extends holiday wishes in all the languages spoken on this cruise to our loved ones back home.
God Jul och Gott Nytt År
God Jul og Godt Nytt År
Feliz Natal e Próspero Ano Novo
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo
Kellemes Karácsonyt és...
Latitude: 72.36 S
**Longitude: **138.1 W
Captain Mattias gave us an early Christmas present today. He parked the Oden next to an ice floe, lowered the gangplank, and off we went! We spent a couple of hours playing around, taking pictures of each other, and setting the world record of pictures taken at one time of one Adele penguin! This little fellow wandered over to where we were and cameras were clicking away!!
I guess we all had cabin fever, because once we got on the ice everyone started playing and acting up.
Yes!! Off the boat !! Exclaims Tish*
Fly Fishing in the Antarctic
Dave decides to use his time for fly fishing-hope orcas aren't biting!!
Star of the Day Adele
What are these creatures in blue and yellow????*
Face to Face
Marvin and the Adele face off!...
Latitude: 73.52 S
Longitude: 117.16 W
Latitude: 73.14 S
Longitude: 116.25 W
Temperature: -2.4 C**
Wind Chill:** -17.7 C
Well, we are at the midpoint of our expedition, give or take a day. We did indeed get back into some ice last night to collect water samples close to the front of the ice shelf. Around 9pm I threw on my coveralls and went to see what was going on. It was great to be able to get back outside! It was snowing pretty steadily and there was some beautiful ice surrounding the ship. I spotted a single Adele on a snow drift, a seal popping his head up through the ice, and then later another Adele asleep on an ice floe either unaware or unconcerned about our presence.
Ice on the 18th
Wish we could jump into the snow!
He looks so alone!!
**Temperature: **-1.2 C
**Wind chill: **-21 C
Whole lot of shaking still going on! This area has proven to be very tempestuous -sure could use some sunshine and a little iceJ We were supposed to have a long work station here, but bad weather prevailed. So we're back inside.
It's hard to capture the powerful motion of the waves.*
In spite of the weather outside, the highlight of the day inside came with the Live Event! Before it began I was worried about transmission interference because of the storm, but I was told afterwards that the sound quality was very good. We didn't have a speaker phone so we used two phones on the bridge. Rob Sherrell, Tish Yager, Agneta Frammson and I huddled close to listen to the event.
Live Event on Oden...
Temperature: -2.6 degrees
Wind Chill: -19.3 degrees
When do you get tired of seeing an iceberg? -when you've spent two days going back and forth in front of the same one. J When we first got close enough to it a couple of days ago, everyone was out with cameras clicking away-It seemed you couldn't get enough pictures of it because it was so awesome.
Walls of ice
Ice appears on the horizon!*
To the Bridge!
A favorite place for picture taking is on the bridge!*
Doesn't look real does it??*
Wish we could see this from above!!*
But after several days of the same view it's time for a change! Actually, we have been in the same area because we were riding out another storm. This one produced wind gusts of over 78 mph! There was...
Latitude: 74.09 S
Longitude: 112.43 W
Temperature: -3.4 degrees
Wind chill: -14.2 degrees
Well, so much for the warming trend we saw yesterday! Today we awoke to more snow and much colder weather, thanks to those Antarctic winds! We are near the Dotson Ice shelf and have seen some incredible ice floes and icebergs. I even spotted a penguin on one of the floes. You may be wondering why we are not seeing more penguins, seals, etc. It has to do with the ice. They need ice to come up on! Here in the polynya there is more open water with considerably less ice. So perhaps in the next couple of days as we begin our transect to the Ross Sea we will find more large biology.
The biology we have found includes diatoms and a type of algae called phaeocystis which is a dominant group here....
Latitude: 74.32 S
Longitude: 109.12 W
Temperature: -3.6 C
Wind chill: -3.6 C
Today we arrived at the much anticipated Polynya in the Amundsen Sea for a 24 hour work station. A coastal polynya is formed by offshore winds and possibly an upwelling of warmer water at the shelf break. This particular polynya has not been studied well, so everyone was looking forward to beginning work here. The physics and chemistry of this area make it a very productive area for organisms as well. Looking out from the Oden, it looks like a tranquil lake spotted with small -medium-sized ice floes. One thing that struck us all was how relatively warm it is here. The morning was certainly cool enough for our coveralls, but by mid-afternoon it was strangely warmer and we were able to walk around outside with just...
Latitude: 73.47 S
Longitude: 106.42 W
Temperature: -3.1 C
Wind chill: -20C
This posting is dedicated to our Swedish friends onboard the Oden. The day started out like most with many work stations going. But at 3pm (normal coffee break time) we were summoned to the Port Mess. Now if you read the last couple of journals you remember what happened the last time we were all called down (Neptune's initiation!) So, people were a little nervous walking into the darkened mess hall. The first thing we noticed was a warm pot of a special drink called Glögg served with raisins and almonds, and saffron bread in the shape of the number 8. Then, the sound of singing voices began. It was a celebration of Santa Lucia Day!
Cecilia Selberg as Lucia with Agneta and Eleni.
Santa Lucia has...
Latitude: 72.59 98 S
Longitude: 106.02.65 W
Temperature: -5.7 C
Wind Chill: -18.0 C
We are in a serious work mode now. The test stations have been coming up about every 4-6 hours. That means a lot of people are working at all hours of the "day"! So how do you get sunburn in the middle of the night? Well, it is very bright even at 12 midnight. If you are on an ice station or working on deck, it is very easy to get burned. However, it's not just the sun- the wind scrapes your face when you are out in it. And if that doesn't get you, the snow that falls like ice picks will!
Midnight on the Oden.*
As I reported in an earlier journal, I have several jobs myself besides putting together these postings. You've already seen me on the ice (I hope to go again!). I also work...
Latitude: 70.58 S
Temperature: -4 degrees C
Wind chill: -15.5 degrees C
I begin with a thumbs-up photo from some of the CTD crew. Water and ice core sampling are now well underway, as well as the other on-going projects. Today we are stopped for a 24 hour testing station. Eight CTD casts are planned, with the last one occurring around 5AM tomorrow.
Three different teams were ferried onto the ice today, and I went with the first one! Dr. Melissa Chierci and Dr. Agneta Fransson from Götenburg University invited me to help. They are studying the role of the Polar oceans in the exchange of CO? between the atmosphere and the sea using measurements from surface waters to 8 meters deep to make vertical profiles of the water column. Their work includes sampling water, ice...
Latitude: 68.38 S
Longitude: 96.42 W
Wind Chill: -16.7 C
There are certain routines onboard the Oden that follow set schedules or rules. Meal times and coffee are a good example; hanging up outdoor apparel and shoes at a certain place are too. So we were slightly taken aback when in the middle of the afternoon yesterday Capt. Mattias summoned everyone, crew included, to the port mess hall. No one seemed to know what was going on. There was a little anticipation in the air once we were all assembled- but no sign of the Capt.! Then we heard a loud knocking coming down the hallway to the port mess. This is what we saw appear in the doorway:
Messengers from Neptune
What in the world...?*
The man in the white coat introduced himself by telling us that we had been...