12 May 2007
A bunch of us from the boat went into town for one last outing before
we sail tomorrow. One of the local drinks is called a Pisco Sour. I
believe the ingredients are sour mix, powered sugar, one egg white,
and a local alcohol called Pisco. They are pretty tasty. At one
point, most of the people left except myself and a few of the Marine
Techs (MT). After a few Pisco Sours, some beer, and some other
drinks, we left there and went to a local hangout that was basically
an 80?s Heavy Metal bar. We had another beer and then we headed out.
The MTs went to their hotel and I headed for the dock. I didn?t
really know what time it was, but when I arrived at the gate, it was
locked. We were issued access cards when we arrived and we used them
to get access to the docks by running them through a card reader. The
place was all locked up and I thought I?d be sleeping on the bench out
front. A few minutes later, car pulled up that wanted through and a
guard came out to talk to them. Good thing. The guard looked at my
card and let me in through the guard booth. I made it to my room and
realized it was 3:30am. One of the engineers that I?ve been working
with at Palmer was heading back to the states, so I asked him to bring
me some postcards so I could fill them out for Abby. Juanita from the
office agreed to mail one every 4 or 5 days so that she wouldn?t get
them all at once. I decided that since the boat was leaving in less
then 6 hours, I?d better get them all filled out now. I went down to
the galley and stayed up for about another hour filling them out. We
had breakfast and role call at 7:30am?in 4 hours.
I got up around 7am and found Herb, our MPC (Marine Projects
Coordinator). He basically runs the operations of the science and
anything not related to actually operating the boat. I hope that
makes sense. The captain runs the ship with regard to maintenance,
navigation, piloting, etc. and Herb manages the science and those of
us on board for other reasons (transit, station supplies, etc).
Anyway, Herb agreed to get the postcards to Juanita as I really wasn?t
supposed to leave the boat within two hours of leaving port.
We left Punta Arenas about 0900 EDT. The wind had really picked up
last night and was blowing about 30 knots. I don?t know what the
converts to in mph, but it was strong. Anyway, everything was calm in
the morning and we spent most of the time until lunch out on the deck.
After lunch, we had our safety briefing. It covered basic boat
safety with regard to getting around on the ship, float suit
instruction, what to do in an emergency, and a tour of the life boats.
All pretty straight forward.
I learned afterward that we are very likely going to stop by an
Emperor Penguin colony at some part of the cruise! We are stopping
there to check on a colony that has seen MAJOR declines in population.
Two years ago there were about 200 pairs of birds and I guess last
year there were 9 pairs. Yes, 9. No one onboard knows why, but I?m
going to see if I can get more details. I?ve been fascinated with
penguins since I was a kid and Emperors are my favorite. I really
hope there are still some there.
We left the Straits of Magellan about an hour ago. I understand that
we should hit the Drake sometime tomorrow. The current forecast looks
good for our crossing, but the captain says that the weather can
change very quickly. The food has been pretty decent and so far, so
good with regard to seasickness. BTW, my email address on the boat is:
mike dot forrester at lmg dot usap dot gov
I apologize for the funny formatting, but I don?t want the spammers to
find it easy. Sound it out and it should make sense. I?m limited to
25K per day so please be brief and no attachments, but feel free to
drop me a line anytime. Since I have no Internet access, these posts
are being done blindly from email. Let me know if they are working.
Also, email is downloaded via the satellite modem around 0830, 1230,
and 1830 EDT. So please expect a delay. I?ll try and do shorter,
more frequent posts in time for the mail transfer. Cheers for now.
This post was written at 2100 EDT 12 May 2007.