Guest Star: Almy

We have one extra crew member who has come along with us to Antarctica.
You might have been able to call him a stowaway, but he is such a hard
worker that we had to make him one of the crew. Almy is a bear
provided by a middle school in Chapel Hill, NC so that the students can
learn science and geography.

In this picture Almy is rubbing the
toe of a large statue in the main square of Punta Arenas, Chile which
brings good luck for those crossing the high seas of the Drake Passage
(south of South America). We'll see if the toe rubbing works during our
crossing in the next couple of days.

Almy is strapped in with duct tape to the rail of the ship saying
goodbye to Punta Arenas, Chile as we head south toward the Antarctic. Duct
tape is an essential supply on all science cruises and is used for dozens
of different applications

Almy, the science bear, is taking part in the safety meeting in
which emersion suits are worn and all life vests and life boats tested.

As for the rest of the crew, we are spending most of our time making last
minute preparations to some of the sampling equipment, enjoying the
surprisingly good meals that our galley crew is whipping up for us, and
just getting to know this really, really big ship. We are now in the Drake
Passage, and the seas have gotten a little bigger than they were in the
Straits of Magellan, but this boat is big and stable enough to keep the
ride quite smooth. Be sure to check out the cruise track at the sail.wx
link at the top right of this blog. We are headed to the southernmost
station first (Sta. G), and are due to arrive there on the afternoon of the

The Research Vessel Ice Breaker Nathaniel B. Palmer. This will
be home for the next 25 days. It is a large scientific research vessel,
longer than a football field. The big bow is to limit waves from breaking
over the ship during the open ocean transit across the Drake Passage (one
of the windiest and waviest places in the world).

57* 51.43' S; 66* 04.78'W
Air Temp: 3,0*C
Surface Seawater Temp: 4.54*C
Wind Chill: -14*C


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