Monday, March 31, 2014

Arrival to Palmer Station!

Day 4, 2130 hours.

Day four, and thankfully not Day 3 anymore.  Overall, Day 3 was not too bad, but I’m glad it’s done.  Glad I have my body feeling normal again.  We are only miles from the first Antarctica islands.  On the same chart with Shackleton’s Elephant Island.  It’s now just around freezing.  Snow has started to fall, some have seen icebergs.  I have seen seals.  We are getting close.  We’ll be there tomorrow at 1100 hours. 

Day 3 had 6-10 foot swells with some twelve footers.  The wind peaked in the morning at 60 knots (I think while I was asleep or trying to sleep).  The rolling, the pitching…as I lay in my bunk, with each big roll my internal organs would shift and then my mattress would follow.  I spent the day reading, watching a movie, sleeping.  I got on the rowing and bike machines during Day 2 for a good bit, but when I tried the bike machine again yesterday, after a few turns, I thought, I need to get off this thing. 

Most of the time, I loose track of time.  Not sure what day of the week, what day of the month, what time.  I eat, sleep, read, watch, and experiment with some electronics. 

I am now on the station, having safely made it here.  It is nice to be here, finally.  I awoke early on the last day to see the islands of the Antarctic.  They are beautiful. 

So now I have been here a week.  We’ve been collecting our gear and equipment, scouting our towers and antennas, doing trainings, and settling into the routine. 

The ship, and the noise of it’s generators, finally left this morning.  I partook of the tradition of when the ship leaves and is northbound, people jump off the pier into the water.  It is cold!  But then…to the hot tub!  Yes, Palmer Station has a hot tub.  It felt excellent and a dunk and a tub seemed to be an excellent way to start the day.

So far, it’s been grey and windy for all but one day that I’ve been south of Chile.  Icebergs float by.  Seals are our neighbors.  Today on my day off, I worked on my electronics kit (making an infrared sensor to alert me if my roommate beat me to bed in a dark room).  Then ran on the treadmill, skied up and down the glacier in the “back yard.”  Learned a bit about soldering from the comms guy.  Cleaned the kitchen (our turn for the week).  That’s about it.  Got to hit the sack soon. 

The beautiful conical monipole antenna.  We call it a Coni Moni.

Bye Bye! 
Just before jumping in!

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