May 16, 2007
We made it to Palmer Station, Antarctica this morning. Before we stopped I got up at 5:00 am to deploy the fishing pots. We set 3 fishing traps to a single buoy. The buoy has a light and a transmitter so when we head back out to sea, we will pick them up to see if there are any fish. I met Dr. Bruce Sidell, the chief scientist for this cruise. I was able to observe an ice fish dissection. Dr. Sidell extracted around 10 mg of blood, these ice fish are the only fish species that have clear blood, there is no hemoglobin at all. His graduate student, Jodie, was busy dissecting the retina out of the eyeball while Dr. Sidell extracted the 1 ventricle of the heart and some pectoral fin muscle. Watching the team work was enjoyable.
After lunch Andrew Gibby, a Stanford geophysist graduate student, asked if I wanted to go along and check to see if his low frequency antennae was still intact. I asked where and he explained it was on top of the glacier. We hiked to the top of the glacier, I have never been on a mountain of pure ice. We had to zig zag up to the top which took a good hour to climb. The view was incredible, as we were walking up across the bay it sounded like a ski resort avalanche gun going off across the bay. I glanced over a very large piece of the glacier fell into the bay causing a pretty impressive pressure wave. Seeing global warming first hand really drives home the point. This is winter time down here, the ice is supposed to be forming - not melting.
Fishing tomorrow - wait until you see the very unusual looking ice fish. They are probably the most unusual fish I have ever seen.