Friday, 7 December 2012

2 - To the East Scotia Ridge

We said goodbye to Punta Arenas and set sail in the early hours of the morning, stopping first at a fuelling station to fill the ship’s colossal tanks. Our journey south began with the Straits of Magellan, a historic passageway connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific through the island labyrinth of the Tierra del Fuego. The ship was a buzz of activity as boxes were unpacked, lab equipment was secured to benches and work tops, and cabins were adjusted to feel like home. We had a safety briefing with tours of the lifeboats and some of us had a go at getting into immersion suits should disaster call us to abandon ship.

Claire Woulds modelling the one-size-fits-all immersion suits in the main lab.

Over the next couple of days as we approach the East Scotia Ridge where we will begin our science, we are all getting used to the rolling of the ship and adjusting our body clocks to match the watches we’ll be doing on site. We’ve already been visited by a spectacular array of bird life, including many different species of petrel and the remarkable Wandering Albatross, which have wing spans up to 3.5 metres!

A Wandering Albatross skimming the waves behind the ship.

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