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Cara Pekarcik's picture

Pratt Pier

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. NBP 1608 Cruise TrackThis 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

Packing Update

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 operationsCargo from the research cruise is off-loaded onto Pratt Pier the morning after the arrival.

TMC Van offloadThe 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.

Bridge sceneryCara 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.

NBP 1608 Science TeamThe 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

Wrapping Up

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.

Comments

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Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

No current expeditions on the horizon, but I hope that I made great connections!  I will definitely miss the experience and would love to work on the ocean. From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/21/2016 9:27 AM Subject: Re: Aisha Khiyaty commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer (
Tracy Bowen's picture

Tracy Bowen said:

It's been so much following your journey! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

Thank you for following, Tracy! From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/17/2016 9:21 AM Subject: Re: Tracy Bowen commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer
Vivian Tran's picture

Vivian Tran said:

Hello Mrs. Pekarcik! I also had fun reading your journals. This was a great opportunity for students to be able to learn more. I can't wait to meet you next week! I'm looking forward to it.
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

Vivian -  Thank you!  It was a pleasure reading your questions and learning more from the researchers because of the questions you asked.  I am looking forward to meeting you next week, as well!   From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/17/2016 1:43 PM Subject: Re: Vivian Tran commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer (((
Daniel J-T, block E's picture

Daniel J-T, block E said:

what was the most important thing that accomplished on this quest of the sea?
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

Daniel -  Large amounts of information and samples were collected to help scientists learn more about the Southern Ocean and the water around the Western Antarctic Peninsula.  These are areas that are difficult to sample and have little information regarding oceanographic research.  Any information that can be gathered about the chemistry and biology of the area is important. From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/20/2016 7:08 AM Subject: Re: Daniel J-T, block E commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer (((
Marvisa 's picture

Marvisa said:

Will there be another research that you will be participating in with the same people? Where do they leave the ship after everything is done?
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

The ship will stay in Punta Arenas for a few days before the next research team boards the ship.  There is always a crew from ECO on the ship.   I hope to work with the researchers again in the future, but no specifics have been discussed. From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/20/2016 7:30 AM Subject: Re: Marvisa commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer ((
Michael Comerford G-block's picture

Michael Comerfo... said:

what was it like to sleep without the engines on, did you get little sleep or alot more.
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

The engines were really just a dull background hum, so it didn't bother me.  I slept well on the ship whether the engine was on or off From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/21/2016 8:55 AM Subject: Re: Michael Comerford G-block commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer (
Maritza Mak, Block G's picture

Maritza Mak, Block G said:

Hi Ms. Pekarcik, welcome back! I enjoyed reading your journals and I'm looking forward to see you and learn your experience at your cruise.
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

Thanks Maritza!   I look forward to meeting you, too! From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/21/2016 9:03 AM Subject: Re: Maritza Mak, Block G commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer (
Kyle Cohen Block G's picture

Kyle Cohen Block G said:

Would you like to go on the journey again if you could?
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

Absolutely! From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/21/2016 9:03 AM Subject: Re: Kyle Cohen Block G commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer
Aisha Khiyaty's picture

Aisha Khiyaty said:

Are there going to be more expeditions to Antarctica that you will be participating in? Are you going to miss it ? If you were able to do this all the time would you ?
Aidan Ring's picture

Aidan Ring said:

Was it a major change from being on the boat and now being back on land?
Cara Pekarcik's picture

Cara Pekarcik replied:

Everything is different.  I don't see the same people, I cook my own food, my surroundings are not constantly moving, etc.  From: PolarTREC <webmaster@polartrec.com> To: <cpekarcik@polartrec.com> Sent: 10/21/2016 5:41 PM Subject: Re: Aidan Ring commented on 15 October 2016 Farewell RVIB Palmer ((