May 15, 2007
The peninsula of Antarctica came into view this morning. It is sure a cold barren place. The temperature outside is about 28 degrees with a wind chill of (-12 degrees). I bundled up and began working on the fish pots. Earlier we had cut bait for the pots and now we rigged the pots to be deployed tomorrow morning around 6am. We will tie 3 pots together and drop them 500 meters (1500 feet) down to the bottom of the ocean. A long rope, a very long rope, is attached to the 3 pots and a float with a transmitter tells us where the pots are. We will leave them for a couple of days and then pull them up with, hopefully, a lot of icefish in them.
The most noticeable thing about Antarctica is the short days. I was out on deck watching a couple of whales blow and noticed it was getting dark. I figured it must be dinner time so I went in took off my cold weather gear and looked at the clock - it was only 3:30 and the sun was already down. Dinner is served from 5:30 - 6:30 every night.
As we enter the peninsula the animals are showing up. Seabirds, seals, and whales so far today, I couldn't identify the whales they were a little too far away. My mammal observer friends from the STAR 2006 Cruise would have identified them by just the shape of their blow. I miss the sunshine, I think I like looking at whales and seals in a nice warm sun. Watching them is much tougher when you are standing behind anything you can find so the wind-chill doesn't freeze you.
Fishing and Palmer station tomorrow.