January 1 – Ringing in the New Year

Post by VIMS Graduate Student Tricia Thibodeau

View of the LMG from Punta Arenas, Chile
View of the LMG from Punta Arenas, Chile

To ring in the new year, we did a bingo night where people donate prizes and then we play a couple rounds of bingo to win them. Joe and I from the zooplankton lab won some rounds, yay! We won some soup, temporary tattoos, gum, and chapstick–the ultimate prize pack ;-). We played some card games until midnight and then celebrated the new year on the bow of the ship with apple juice and club soda (no alcohol allowed!). Made it a special way to ring in the new year.

View of Patagonia as we land in punta Arenas
View of Patagonia as we land in punta Arenas

Although the Drake passage is notorious for its rough seas and high winds, we have thankfully had a very calm crossing. We’ve been jokingly calling it the ‘Drake Lake’ with just a small roll noticeable. Most people haven’t had to take any sea sickness medication because it’s been so calm.

As we cross the drake passage, we’re helping to deploy some Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTD) sensors off the ship. This contributes to an oceanographic survey through Scripps Institute of Oceanography that’s been going on for over 25 years. The CTD we deploy is this little canister looking thing we just throw off the side of the ship and it measures temperature, depth, and salinity.

Enjoying card games waiting for midnight on new year's eve
Enjoying card games waiting for midnight on new year’s eve

The survey is 24/7 so select groups of people volunteer to deploy the CTD’s at all times of the day. Kharis and I have been working an 8am-noon shift while Jack and our Joe have been good sports and took the midnight-4am shift. Yesterday we spent most of the afternoon setting up our plankton nets. We saw some dolphins while we were on deck setting them up so that was very cool!

– Tricia

Peale's dolphins off the Argentinian coast
Peale’s dolphins off the Argentinian coast