April 26, 2009
The ship’s engines cranked up early this morning to get us off the dock at 8:00 a.m. headed for Dallman Bay to go fishing! This is definitely the coldest fishing trip that I have ever experienced! Fortunately, the good weather has stayed with us and the skies were partly cloudy with some sun peeking through every now and then. We went through the Neumayer Channel, which has stunning glaciers and mountains on either side with cliffs that drop off at the water. As we chugged along on the nine-hour trip to our destination, making our way around ice and icebergs, we started the whale watching in the bridge. The scientists had a rotation of thirty minutes on starboard, port and center with a break in between. As we spotted animals, they recorded it in a computer program to log the information. This was all part of the preparation for their upcoming trip to do the whale tagging when our fishing is complete on Wednesday. The ship time is alternating between the two science research groups. So, as soon as we return from fishing, the whale-tagging group will return to the ship from Palmer Station and go out for their research (Dr. O’Brien and Irina Mueller stayed at Palmer Station to get the aquarium room prepared for the fish we are bringing back). It was thrilling to have such a calm day traveling to be able to spot so much wildlife. I saw several humpback whales, seals (fur seals, mostly) and birds (petrels and the Arctic or Antarctic terns, which migrate between the two spots). So awesome to see them gliding through the water right around the icebergs! They also logged a minke whale and some penguins. I was sad that I missed the penguins, but they assured me we will see some around Palmer Station! I am still keeping an eye out for those! Apparently, most have already left for the winter, but I am hoping for a sighting! I have to get a picture for my 1st graders at Newton Elementary, as that was their main request!