Sunday, April 1, 2018

A New Adventure - Another Antarctic Winter!

March 25, 2018

Much has happened since I left the South Pole last November. At the end of December, I had a contract in hand for my first Palmer Station winter. Palmer Station is on the Antarctic Peninsula directly south of South America whereas McMurdo and the South Pole stations are south of New Zealand. This will be my fourth winter and with this deployment I will have wintered at all three American stations. There are only about 20 people that have wintered at all three.

As I write this I on the Antarctic research ship the Lawrence M. Gould. Palmer has no runway so travel by this 230-foot ice strengthened vessel is necessary. A few days ago, I left home once again and flew to Punta Arenas, Chile after a trip of 25 hours flying and airport time.  Yesterday all the winter Palmer people (20) boarded the Gould and headed to Antarctica. We have crossed the Straights’ of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego and am now getting close to Cape Horn and the infamous Drake Passage. At the start of the Drake Passage there is a huge storm with 70+ MPH gusts and 25-foot seas. The captain was decided to slow down and let the brunt of the storm pass before we enter the Drake Passage at the tail end of this storm.

My daughter Jocelyn treated the family with a one week cruise on-board the Oasis of the Seas. 

We had a great time.

I spent a few weeks in Denver and Arizona training for Palmer Station. Here part of the crew attended firefighting training. I am fourth from the right.

On the way from Denver to Arizona we stopped for a hike at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

Since Palmer Station is on the coast most research is marine biology orientated.  Science research involves boating so we had a class in Ocean Search and Rescue using Zodiac boats.

Arriving in Punta Arenas, Chile where we will board a ship for travel to Palmer Station.

A sea going adventure from Punta Arenas to the Antarctic Peninsula.

A statue dedicated to Magellan and the Indians of Tierra del Fuego. 

Rubbing this foot is said to bring good luck with crossing the infamous Drake Passage.

Cathedral of Punta Arenas.

Sunrise from my hotel. 

A fine sailing day.

My home for the next several days - the Antarctic research vessel Lawrence M. Gould.

Two Antarctic cruise ships.

From this building over 100 years ago British Admiralty made plans for Ernest Shackleton's rescue from Antarctica. 

One more measure of good luck.

Inside Cathedral of Punta Arenas.

Walking to the Lawrence M. Gould.

Four of us berthed in a shipping container down in the cargo deck - a real tiny house.


The five of us wintered at the South  Pole last season. Together again for a Palmer Station winter.

The Bridge.

Ceremonial cigars.

The mess deck.

Excellent food.

A box full of snacks.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful update and a good start to a fourth winter on the ice. Despite the treacherous passage, you have lived the life of an explorer with a fondness for the unusual journey! I am so proud of you for making the choices you have been given and now you are sharing the uniqueness of this 3rd station. I look forward to another beautiful winter with you on the Antarctica continent! Love always, andee