Nov 25: The Spirit of Sydney

Post by W&M undergraduate Domi Paxton.

With the start of the diurnal tide on November 21, Kim and I have gone out sampling every day that we can. We have had several successful days, completing all 26 GPS points on our sampling grid. In addition to good sampling, we have been able to see lots of wildlife. Minke whales have surfaced several times off in the distance, penguins often swim past us, and the other day we saw a leopard seal napping on a piece of ice! It was too bad neither of us brought our camera that day.

The Laurence M. Gould pulled into station on Saturday, and left on Sunday taking with it some fellow Palmer Station members from the University of San Francisco. We will miss them here on station and in their honor completed another polar plunge!

The Spirit  of Sydney amongst the pack ice.
The Spirit of Sydney amongst the pack ice.

In addition to the Gould, we had some other exciting visitors at Palmer Station this weekend! The Spirit of Sydney, a 60-foot Antarctic expedition support yacht, pulled into Arthur Harbor on Saturday. The crew of the Sydney has several things on their agenda. In celebration of the 100-year anniversary since Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, the crew will be skiing onto the Antarctic continent and being the first to set foot on several mountains. The crew is also supporting an environmental campaign to “Sing for the Penguins” of Antarctica, where everyone is encouraged to give a tone to the penguins. All the tones will be put together into a grand choir and played for the penguins in a concert.

A few of us were able to take a Zodiac out to the Spirit of Sydney to meet the crew and see the ship. It was a really neat experience getting to see how they live, hear some stories, and learn all about their mission.

Author: David Malmquist

David Malmquist is the Director of Communications at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.