Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fish Science and a Recreational Boating Day

I have started uploading my Palmer Station videos to YouTube. On the settings (the small gear on the bottom right side of the viewing screen) select HD for the best quality.

Artist Karen Young is on station and recently completed this really cool and informative work of art. You can see her work at:
Palmer Station isn't technically on the continent of Antarctica as it is about 12 miles away. The station is situated on Anvers Island as seen in red.

Palmer Station (upper left) in relation to the other two US bases, McMurdo and the South Pole. I have wintered at all three.
Every winter at the South Pole there is a design contest for next year's marker. Last winter season when I was there this is the design that won. The machinist on station built it. I had taken several pictures of it but the design is kept a secret until January 1, 2018 when it was placed at the geographic South Pole. Here is a picture of the 2018 pole marker. One of my favorites of all time. It is as heavy as a bowling ball. 
Juliette, a PhD student from France, gave me a tour of the aquariums. This is an Icefish. The head looks like an alligator. The Icefish is white blooded.

Antarctic fish have a form of antifreeze in their blood. Credit to  for this illustration.

Scenes from the Palmer Station aquariums.

This red-blooded fish is called the Antarctic bullhead. It can be very aggressive and bite.

Antarctic star fish.


There are several large tanks. Most stay covered as the fish are found quite deep. They are studied and some dissected to examine their chemical makeup.
A Dragon fish. During my tour they were kept in the dark so I found this online.

Sunday-Funday - a recreational boating day.

It was a real treat for me as I am usually at the helm. 

Navigating through a sea of brash ice.

Palmer Station.

Some of the ice is clear.

A massive iceberg near Lipps Island. 

An interesting piece of ice in the foreground.

2/3's of an iceberg's size is underwater.

Arriving on land for a Sunday afternoon hike. We anchor off the stern and tie onto a ring on Old Palmer Island. In this way "Mia" cannot hit the rocks if the wind/swell change. 

Living in Antarctica is like being on another planet. The beauty and isolation is immense.

A solar powered weather station on Old Palmer Island.

We came upon a colony of Elephant Seals!

These two were fighting.

They look like they are getting ready to.

That's not dirt they are laying in. The Elephant Seal is a filthy, smelly creature. 

A tough day for them.

Palmer Station across Arthur Harbor.

An Antarctic selfie.

Mt. Agamemnon through the clouds.

Old Palmer Station foundation. This was the first station that only lasted a few years due to glacial drift. The "new" Palmer Station just celebrated the 50th anniversary a few months ago. The blue barrels are called survival cache which includes radios, tent, food and water in case the weather prevents a return to station. Everyone onboard a boat must carry their own dry bag with clothes, snacks, etc. If one falls into the water you have dry clothes to wear. 

Mia waiting patiently for our return. 

I was at the helm for our return trip. 

The satisfying and glowing end to a wonderful day of exploration.

1 comment:

  1. Home is where your heart is! I have spent this day cleaning and organizing after almost two months traveling on the western side of the USA! I really appreciate all of your thoughts and pictures as I feel that when you are on the ice you are not alone. We think of you often and the the more we know about your daily adventures and work related experiences, the better we can understand your fascination with the remotest job you have ever worked. Many people ask about you and care to know what it is you are doing. I think they just wonder how we adjust to the separations. HMMM, I have the house and adult kids to keep me occupied and you have coworkers that share their time and talents related to the important research they are conducting. Guess we like to learn something new daily and that is what keeps life and our relationship fulfilling.
    Okay, feeling very grateful to be home and getting ready for summer. We are having a windy weekend with TS Albert shedding some water. Thank you for your Navy service to our country and the life skills learned during those difficult years. Hope to see more of the changes to this part of the Antarctica area. Love always, andee