Ciao Chile, Aloha Antarctica

February 12, 2009

Greetings to our readers and thanks for tuning in for one more round! After traveling from all corners of the globe to return from our various adventures, all of the NCSU gang is present and accounted for. Kim and Brian had successful presentations at ASLO and saw the countryside of Europe. Rebecca and Alyssa toured the Torres del Paine area of Patagonia from the view of their kayak on the Serrano River. Linda visited previous FOODBANCS participant Karin in Sao Paulo. Dave was diligently teaching and coordinating with Carrie back at NC State to make sure everything for this final FOODBANCS excursion goes as smoothly as possible.

After a flurry of loading, packing, and securing equipment we left Chile yesterday. It was a busy day in port, and not only were there military and fishing vessels docked, but we woke up this morning to find a cruise ship outside our windows. These ships also visit Antarctica, carrying with them a few more people and providing a few more amenities than the L.M. Gould.

Caption: The Gould to the left with port officials close by to inspect the newly arrived cruise liner on the right.

Right now we have come around the horn of Argentina and are enjoying a fairly comfortable ride in the Drake Passage. We have completed our vessel security, lab safety, and back deck orientations, and have even had time to squeeze in an abandon ship drill and a field camp meeting. As we mentioned earlier, we will be dropping off two field camps on this voyage. We will be dropping Ross MacPhee at Livingston Island and Joe Kirshvinck at James Ross Island in the Weddell Sea. Setting up camps for a month long stay for these teams requires all hands on deck. Last February and March the FOODBANCS crew helped take out the Copa and Petermann camps so we have a lot of seasoned veterans who are willing and able to help.

More updates to come as we transit to the islands, m'on.


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