July 29, 2008
We are pulling out of Potters Cove in Maxwell Bay, off of King George Island along the Antarctic Peninsula; technically the land we walked on today is claimed by Argentina, but they don't seem to mind that we are here. The project is going so well that we were awarded shore leave and spent the last 4 hours frolicking in the snow alongside a Gentoo Penguin colony, cruising glaciers in the zodiac and avoiding the predatory leopard seals. I just stripped out of my gear and rushed to the computer to email folks about our day. As I am downloading today's photos, it is evident that the images will tell a better story than I can put in to words.
The landing party was a surprise. There had been rumors of shore leave throughout most of the cruise, but there were no set plans and we were told not to get our hopes up. When it became clear we would finish Station B ahead of schedule the rumors started to gain momentum. Our Principal Investigators, excited by how well the team has been working, met with the Captain early in the morning to plan out a stop on the way north from Station B to proposed Station N. At 11:30 a.m. the alarm bell went off and we mustered in the conference room, our designated assignment during a drill. Once the particulars of the drill were discussed, we were briefed on the field trip logistics. After lunch we loaded two zodiac boats for a beach landing on King George Island. The weather was overcast and cold but it did not stop the group from have a great day.