Shore life is back again, and I think I can speak for most when I say that it is a two-edged sword. It is great to be back in familiar territory where you can choose what you eat, see some of the people you love and sit under a tree in the sunshine with a cool glass of kool-aid. However, there is something about the adventure, the frenetic schedule, and the mystique of the sea that makes me yearn to be back in the Antarctic. The experience was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure... and we get to go back two more times!!

For now, most of us are busy with classes, which are wrapping up this week. Lab work has consumed some of us, and I (Brian) have been in the lab waaayy more than I would like to admit. Thorium-234 is a short-lived tracer, which requires a lot of lab work in a short period of time. My sanity is mostly what's at risk, though I seem to be pushing through it okay (though some of my colleagues may disagree...)

The balloons are not for a party, but to add a little positive pressure to some of the ion exchange columns behind me. Sometimes they get a little slow and need some help. The hood gets a little novel looking sometimes, but they really do work.

Another bit of news is that we have a new crew member who will be coming with us in July (and hopefully next February), Arianne Balsom. She is a marine ecologist who has done lots of continental shelf work in the Arctic and is looking to get bi-polar with a couple of trips down south. We welcome her and look forward to some good, productive times in the southern hemisphere.

Blogging will probably continue to be a little sporadic as the summer starts. Most of us need a little break and have other project work to consume us. Look for more periodic updates as we get closer to our next departure date in early July.

Fair winds...


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