Dispatch: June 8, 2006

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Day's Lunch Menu: Fish, beef, Brussels sprouts, carrots; yellow cake, lemon custard pie, and cookies.
Dinner Menu:Palmer Station staff (and Wendy from Maine) served us dinner.  Fresh salad, and a multitude of pizzas of every combination imaginable from Thai chicken to spinach and red onion.  MMM-mmmm!

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We docked at Palmer Station around 9am on a crisp, clear, cold (-8°C) morning.  We had a short Palmer Procedures talk given by the Station Director regarding where we could hike on the glacier, the sign-out procedure, and when we should be back for dinner and dancing in the lounge!

There were some things to do on the ship before lunch, and the ship was moving heavy things on (the usual Palmer Stop exchanges of supplies and waste  we take theirs, we don’t deliver ours…), so it was not safe to go out and about.  We had already delivered on our first stop, and certainly hadn’t picked up anything they needed in the meantime!  It wasn’t until after lunch that the Recreational activities started (and remember, days are short here!!).

About 6 of us in one group (there were several) bundled up and trudged to the Glacier Exploration Supply Locker to get ski poles.  We’d been alerted that about a foot of fresh snow had fallen on the glacier in the past 24 hours, and we might like some accessories.  Jon Craft hauled a snowboard and boots up on his shoulders!  Well, it was a spectacular day, with the air so clear and the enormous mountains in the distant east reflecting the pinks of the sun just hanging behind the peaks in the west. 


Little by little, the mountains rose from the mist as we hiked up the glacier. (Photo by Ellen Bailey)


We’re at the top of the glacier here.  That ski-do is for emergencies only, so left, right, left…. (Photo by Ellen Bailey)

Every step of the way up the glacier gave a little more and then a little more of the mountain range to our view.  The plan was to have everyone meet at the top of the glacier at 1:30pm for a group photo.  Just when I thought our group would be small, way back in the distance I could see a little row of what looked like ants, following the trail we had taken. 

Eventually, everyone who came on the hike assembled at the top of the glacier for the traditional team photos.


“Team Science”  atop the glacier at Palmer Station. (Photo by Jack Baldelli)


“Team Auburn” atop the glacier at Palmer Station. (Photo by Jack Baldelli)
Andy Mahon, Alexis Janosik, Nicole Cox, Jon Craft, Nerida Wilson, Rebecca Hunter and Ken Halanych

Following the hike, it seemed like a very good idea to try out that makeshift hot tub I’d heard so much about.  Indeed, it was the most pleasant thing to do after a long hike.  There were a few others who had the same thought, and we poached up nicely with just enough time to go back to the ship to change before the Store opened.  Several gifts and mementos later, we were up in the station’s Lounge for a congenial dinner, followed by a summary (so far) talk about the cruise by Ken Halanych and then some social time.  One very special thing was the “bar ice” used to make cold drinks colder.  This was a chunk of 20,000 year old ice from the glacier that had been craned up to the upper deck.  Periodically, someone would go out to chip off some chunks into a rubber basin, and that was the ice bucket.  Imagine using, the clearest, coldest oldest ice you’ll ever see  ahhhhh, refreshing!!


Refreshingly cold, almost incalculably old, blue glacier ice. (Photo by Ellen Bailey)

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Last updated May 30, 2006
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