January 20, 2007
Last evening and this morning have been active. Last night at about 9:30pm one of the crew members came in an announced that you could see a large comet from the ship. Sure enough, to the ships southwest (at about 15 degrees) above the horizon, you could easily see a comet as it slowly went over the horizon (looked like it was plunging into the sea). The head and tail of the comet could be easily seen. Later, one of the science party advised that the comet was the McNaught Comet (spelling?). Apparently earlier in the week you could see it in the north hemisphere but now it was only visible in the south. I watched it until it slowly went over the horizon behind clouds. The morning everyone ran to main deck when a large group of pilot whales showed up. The whales, about half way in size between dolphins and killer whales, were slowly feeding near the surface (which also attracted gulls and other birds) and stayed near the ship for several minutes apparently undisturbed. We are currently at site 12, our last, and samples are arriving at the lab. Today should be a busy one as we try to finish up samples and data processing. The ocean is still choppy and it feels like a light sleet falling on deck. We are near to Antarctica and this was anticipated.