Saturday, July 26, 2008

Women of Palmer - Winter 2008

The steadfast winterover women of Palmer. Other women have come and gone during our stay, but those pictured above have been here for the duration of the winter. In the not too distant past, when the Antarctic stations were ran by the military, no women were allowed down. It's so cool that so many of us have taken this opportunity to break molds and cross boundaries into this continent.

Side note: Two of the women in this picture were also with me at South Pole over the summer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Palmer Update

Life is continuing right along here at Palmer Station.

The Gould recently brought in a bunch of new scientists, turning us into busy bees to help support their needs. Now, the Gould is in and out of port on fishing expeditions. They're trawling deep, 500 meters, and bringing up all kinds of sea creatures in the nets to be brought back to our aquariums.

The good weather here has held out until last night when the winds picked up to 26 knots with gusts to 36. Not only did the wind pick up, but so did the temperature. It is now an unsettling 38F. The snow and ice are melting and it feels like spring to those of us that have dealt with much lower temperatures for a while.

We're now over the hump and the end of our stay here is in sight. As such, my thoughts are often taken up with dreams of visiting South American cities and laying on South American beaches. Soon enough, those will become reality.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Glacier Hike

The good weather has held out for us Palmerites and on Sunday, we had a beautiful day to explore our Antarctic outdoors. Some people went boating, and others, like myself, hiked to the top of the glacier. It was a busy day for the glacier...probably the most people it has seen in one day in a long time. I passed people on the way up, on the way down, and hung out with a few at the top.

Click here for some awesome pictures.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Return of the Sun

The good weather has held out here at Palmer, and today, the sun came out for the first time in two months! It had recently been hiding from us behind stormy clouds and for a while, didn't feel like raising high enough on the horizon to get above the glacier. Now that it's back, showing itself, I definitely appreciated how good it felt to have those luscious rays hitting my face today. So much so that I spent most of my lunch outside basking, drinking hot tea and wearing sunglasses. While walking between buildings afterward, my pace slowed, and I lingered on the boardwalk. I hope the weather holds out until tomorrow for my day off.

P.S. I probably didn't need to take my Vitamin D pill this morning.

P.S.S. I'm pretty sure this was all due to my sun tattoo.

Before the sun surprised us, we were all impressed by a huge ice rainbow.

Neal looking at the rainbow from his tower up on the hill

The sun just barely peeking over the glacier.

In full force.

Amber enjoying the rays.

I pretty much spent my whole lunch hour like this.

A Break in the Weather

Finally (emphasis on finally), the winds died down here at Palmer this week. The storms that have been plaguing us these past weeks with winds up to 40 knots sustained and gusts up to 60 have passed. Not knowing how long this break would last, the station manager let us take an extended lunch to get outdoors for some recreation time on the water. It's amazing how an hour outdoors, motoring across amazingly calm waters, navigating through brash ice and observing seals on the shores of various islands as we passed them by can help morale. It was a much needed escape from station life.

Brendan driving us around our Antarctic water world while Eric looks on.

Katherine and I loving life.

The beginnings of pancake ice.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Windy Wintery Days

When winds are super high, visibility is low and just walking between buildings is a trial, it's nice to find a fun indoor activity to occupy your time. Yesterday, this activity was getting Henna tattoos. We draped the lounge in sheets, put on some Middle Eastern music, grabbed some snacks and some wine and set to it. Webster was our tattoo artist, and she did a fantastic job.

Webster working her magic.

I absolutely love my tattoo of the sun that I miss so much!

Traditional Henna Bracelets

Every station needs one true Lord of the Rings fan, and we have ours.