Friday, 25 January 2013

Tuesday 22nd January 2013

I went to bed at 1am last night as I was up on the bridge keeping the 1st mate company looking for growlers. I was hoping to see what it was like in the dark with the three huge spot lights on, but it never got dark. For a short time a beautiful full moon came up and would have make the perfect photo behind a large berg, but before I could get a camera, it did a small arch across the sky and sunk below the waves again. Tonight I will make sure I have a camera with me. This morning I was so tired I slept in till 8:45 when the PA went for expeditioners to attend a brief on helicopters. The rest of the morning was spent putting together a presentation on field communications for all expeditioners. It took quite a long time to prepare and went over very well according to John the field training officer. I had a late lunch due to berg watching and then I had to race off to a watercraft meeting. It looks like I will rotate with Chris my technical officer, in charge as a coxswain of my own IRB during resupply and refueling of Davis station. While not on the water I will be the comms officer aboard the ship. The station leader is organizing for us all to go for a hike out to some lakes, so that will be nice.

I had many thanks for the show I put on yesterday and many requests for a copy of the old films and photos, so I spent the afternoon putting them on a USB memory stick to pass around. I had to call the engineers at Kingston to help resolve some technical issues and forgot we are now four time zones back so he was about to go to bed….oops. Sorry Matt. The bergs seem to have dispersed a bit today, but there are some magnificent ones around. Just before lunch we went within a few hundred meters of a couple of massive bergs and the sun was shining, the sea is flat and it was an awesome sight. Well I’m going up on the bridge now as I feel like I’m missing out sitting here in my room. Turns out I’m not missing anything. L All the bergs have buggered of? Time to down load my ice berg photos and I’ll take a look in a couple of hours’ time.

It was pretty quiet up on the bridge tonight once again except for two whales feeding on krill right next to the ship as we went by. That was exciting but only for a brief moment. So it was back to my cabin to get a bit more work done, then I watched a movie from the series “From the Earth to the moon” killing time till midnight when I am due for ice berg watch. I have to log them all within 6nm of the ship and measure the width and height using a sextant. Pretty boring stuff, so I’m glad there are not many around right now. It’s fully day light with lots of birds flying around. Apparently we are in for some bad weather with 4m swell. The plan is to park up in the sea ice some time tomorrow and wait till the weather clears before entering into Davis station on Thursday. The plan is to use this time to trawl for krill around the sea ice to fill our lab tanks to take back to Kingston for their krill research.

At 10am tomorrow we plan on launching the acoustic whale monitoring recorder. This will sit on the bottom in 2500m and record blue whales till next year when the ship will come back and using a sonar signal, initiate the release command and it should float back up to the surface to be retrieved if all goes to plan. I hope my room at Mawson has good blinds as even though I am very tired, it is very hard to go to sleep when it’s day light at midnight. There were seven ice bergs on the radar within 6nm but visibility is down to less than 100m due to heavy sea mist and it’s snowing as well. Let’s hope we don’t bump into anything too large.
@ 16:00 UTC (12am local)
Speed 12.5 knots
Heading SW
Roll 2 degree
Pitch 2 degree
Depth 3100 meters
Water temp 0.3 degree
Air temp 0.3 degree
Wind NE @ 20 knots
Lon 81.84E & Lat 65.34S


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