We arrived at Pratt Pier in Punta Arenas, Chile last evening around 2230 (1030pm). I will admit, I shed a tear or two when we were finally tied to the dock and the engines were shut off. For the past 38 days, the faint rumble of the engine greeted me when I awoke and lulled me to sleep at night. Last night, the engines shut down and the vessel was silent. The RVIB Palmer covered much ground during this research cruise (NBP 1608) and I am extremely fortunate to have been aboard as a participant.
This screen shot shows the cruise plan of the NBP 1608 research cruise from September 7, 2016 to October 14, 2016. Cruise track accessed from: http://www.nbp.usap.gov/rvdas/cruise_track_map.shtml
This morning consisted of lots of cargo operations on the main deck. The trace metal van and the incubation van were removed along with the numerous pallet boxes and other containers with all of the laboratory equipment and samples from the research cruise.
Cargo from the research cruise is off-loaded onto Pratt Pier the morning after the arrival.
The trace metal clean van was removed from the deck and placed on the back of a semi-truck for transport to the storage warehouse.
Farewell RVIB Palmer
After all of the cargo was offloaded, it was time to say goodbye to the RVIB Palmer. Although I will be in Punta Arenas for two more nights, I will not return to the ship to sleep. She is no longer my home away from home. It is difficult to put my feelings into words. I have seen some incredible landscapes, wildlife, and weather during this experience.
Cara Pekarcik stand on the port bridge wing overlooking one of the many incredible views seen during the NBP 1608 research cruise. Photo courtesy Randie Bundy
I have also met and worked with extremely dedicated, funny, intelligent individuals during this trip. I have learned so much from each person associated with this research cruise. I am forever in debt to all aboard the RVIB Palmer for their patience and inclusive nature. Whether members of the Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) crew, the Antarctic Contract Support (ACS) crew or the science team members, I have immensely enjoyed learning about their jobs and getting to know each and every one.
The NBP 1608 Science Team. Members of the Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) and the members of the research teams pose for a photo near Anvers Island, Antarctica. Photo courtesy Maia Theophanis
This is not the last PolarTREC journal, but they will not be as frequent. Today officially marks the end of this research cruise, but I plan on a few follow-up journals regarding my reflections on this entire experience, my return to the classroom at North Quincy High School, my lesson plan development and my outreach programs. Thank you for following my journey and for the wonderful questions and comments along the way. I am overwhelmed by the experience and look forward to reflecting on the past 38 days and working to bring my new found knowledge to my community and classroom.
Mark Your Calendars
PolarTREC presentation at the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, MA on Tuesday, December 6th @ 7:00pm. Click here for the information page.