Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

» About the Antarctic Expedition

  • Week 1

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  • Week 3

  • Week 4

  • Week 5

  • Week 6

» Learn More: Salps!

» Learn More: Weddell Seals!

» Learn More: Penguins!

» Learn More: Drake!

» Learn More: Gould!

» Learn More: CTD

» Learn More: Plankton Nets!

» Thank you!

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Luggage! (Regina Campbell-Malone)

Breathtaking View! The Andes Mountains from the plane window en route to Santiago, Chile. (Regina Campbell-Malone)

Getting geared up! At the clothing depot they had a big bag full of jackets, long underwear, boots, socks, hats, goggles and many pairs of gloves that I would take with me on the boat. (Rob Jennings)

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This is a rhea. It is a large, flightless bird like an ostrich or an emu. Up to 4 female rheas take turns laying eggs in a nest. Then the papa rhea sits on the eggs until they hatch. There are 10 chicks in this picture. Can you find them all?
(Regina Campbell-Malone)

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Two Magellanic penguins traveling to their burrows. (Regina Campbell-Malone)

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The rolling hills of Rio Verde. (Regina Campbell-Malone)

Wool is a major product of the Patagonian region between Chile and Argentina. These are bales of wool pressed together tightly for transport. (Regina Campbell-Malone)

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The crew. Here we are at the Patagonia ranch known as an estancia. We are standing in front of a barn where sheep are shorn so that their wool can be sold to make sweaters, socks, blankets and more! (Regina Campbell-Malone)

The young scientists of the research crew pose for a picture as we pull away from Punta Arenas. (Rob Jennings)

Adriene Burnette of Auburn University tries her Gumby survival suit. It is a little too big! Don't worry, the crew found her another that fits. (Regina Campbell-Malone)

November 16-23, 2004


November 16, 2004
Today I am in Buffalo, NY. I went home to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with my family. Tonight is my last day to pack all the things that I will need for my 30-day trip. Can't forget my toothbrush or my winter coat! Think about all the things you would need for a long trip. What items would you pack? I have one big duffel bag that I can fit myself inside! In addition to that I have a small suitcase, my backpack, and a big camera case. I hope I didn't forget anything!
12:28:00 N 41 degrees 40.040' W 071 degrees 20.134' altitude 24 feet
00:26:28 N 42 degrees 54.421' W 078 degrees 43.591' altitude 688 feet

November 17, 2004
I said goodbye to my family before leaving for the airport. Mechanical problems put me on a flight via Chicago instead of NYC. After getting 4 hours sleep over the past two days and traveling 3.5 hours, my bags feel much heavier than they looked in the picture from yesterday! I spoke to my friend Rob who is also going on the trip. We are meeting in Miami and will travel together from there. We are scheduled to arrive at 4:30pm on Thursday!! (didn't I leave at noon on Wednesday!?)
14:30 (Chicago time) N 42degrees 54.421' W 078 degrees 43.596' altitude 698ft

November 18, 2004
8:04 am Chilean Time (2 hours ahead of Massachusetts). We arrive in the capital city of Santiago, Chile. An overnight flight was a different experience for me. Getting up to stretch and walk down the long cabin in the middle of the night, 2 meals and copious beverages were new and appreciated. Woke up for breakfast after restless sleep on the plane and looked out the window to be greeted by the Andes mountains! Que majestico!
11:03:03 S 34 degrees 0.0' W 070 degrees 18.75'
11:09:43 departing Santiago for Punta Arenas
15:19:43 arrive in Punta Arenas S 53 degrees 09.536' W070 degrees 54.491'

November 19, 2004
Today was a "free" day for the crew that arrived early. I saw the Gould in port and it is HUGE! Our only task was to get fitted for our gear at the pier. At the clothing depot they had a big bag for me full of jackets, long underwear, boots, socks, hats, goggles and many pairs of gloves waiting for me to try on. It made for a fun time and some great pictures!

After the fitting we poked around giftshops and the supermarket called Super Pollo(which means Super Chicken in spanish!?) We bought snacks and water since we aren't used to the tap water here and must stay well-hydrated to avoid headaches and seasickness. After shopping, we met up with other science staff for a marvelous lunch, a walking tour of the city and an excellent dinner.

The food is phenomenal and really cheap. For lunch, I had a dish made with eel! I had a traditional Spanish rice & seafood dish called paella (pronounced pie-eh-yah) for dinner. Both were delicious! Despite all the good food and fun people, I am getting a little anxious and I am ready to go to sea. I think a trip to the penguin colony is coming up in a few days! I can't wait!

November 20, 2004
This morning we headed to the ship for a safety briefing and got our security badges. We also met some of the crew and got a tour of the ship! We moved all of our gear into place in the ship's labs and got to visit the bridge of the ship. That is where the navigator and captain steer the ship. The navigation table is where charts are kept. Charts are maps of land and water that are used to guide ships. When I looked at the navigation table to see what type of chart was being used I saw that the captain uses the same exact chart that is in the classroom to track our trip with GPS coordinates!

November 21, 2004
Visiting the penguin rookery was a birder's paradise (LJG!!) Not only did we see a species of burrowing penguin but we saw an albatross and several smaller birds that I'm going to have to look for in my bird guide book. Can you help identify what type of penguin is in the photo? It was strange watching penguins walking in a field of grass!?!? I got some great photos of penguins at play in the surf. They tiptoed into the water in a group and then ran back out when a wave wet them... as though the water were too cold!

Next, we went to a town called Rio Verde in Central Patagonia, a regionbetween Chile and Argentina. Rio Verde means green river and I can see why! There are bright green rolling hills to our right as far as the eye can see. To the left, a field spans about 300 feet before plunging into one of the many Straits of Magellen. There are sheep, cows, and birds called rheas which look like emus. Rio Verde is located at S 52degrees 36.2', W 071degrees 29.9'. Can you find it on your map?

We also visited a Patagonian Estancia, or ranch. There are many estancias here with cowboys called gauchos (gow-chose). We had a wonderful ranch-style meal, walked around the farmyard and saw horses, sheep, barns and the equipment used to clip wool from the sheep. The wool is super soft and is a major product of Patagonia. Many things are made of wool. Think of the things that you have seen that are made of wool. Some of them may have come from here!

November 22, 2004
The ship is departing tomorrow so there are many things to do today! We prepared the lab by unpacking all the supplies. We talked about plans for the cruise, such as where we will be traveling and when to put the divers in the water. Every member of the science staff was assigned to a specific time during which they will work everyday. I will work from 4am-8am and from 4pm-8pm each day. I'll have to figure out when to eat and when to sleep on such a wacky schedule.

Some people chose to have one last dinner in Punta Arenas, but several of us stayed on the boat and watched Mean Girls on the big screen TV in the lounge! There are a LOT of movies and books in the lounge, since we can't get TV stations or go to a library! We got our cabin assignments and slept on the boat for the first time! There is a bathroom, shower, computer and TV/VCR right in my room. Gotta unpack my clothes and gear so that it doesn't roll around in rough water!

November 23, 2004 - Departure Day!
There were some last minute errands to run then it was back on the boat by 10 am. I started taking my anti-seasickness medicine last night and it made me very sleepy... So after returning to the boat before 10am and making sure my help wasn't needed, I went back to my bunk for a nap.

It takes about 1 hour for the crew to prepare the boat for departure. After a series of delays we finally departed around 14:00. The entire crew attended a safety meeting at 14:30. We were briefed on the safety precautions that we must follow while on board. They told us some sayings to help remember important safety tips. For example "one hand for the boat, one hand for yourself." means always hold on to the ship with one hand. The bridge may need to steer around an iceberg suddenly and if you happen to be in a stairwell holding a box with both hands, you could be in BIG trouble!

We tried on our life vests and survival suits (which are also called Gumby suits because they make you look like the cartoon character named Gumby... if you don't know who Gumby is, a google search will help!) The look pretty silly as you can see from the photo of Adriene in her huge suit!

At 16:40 we are working our way Northeast through the Straits of Magellen. I can see from the portal in my cabin that the waves are 1 foot high at times. Winds are blowing between 20-25 knots, air temperature is 9.8 degrees C with a wind chill of -2.7 degrees C. The ship is traveling around 13 knots (that's nautical miles per hour).

Here are some coordinates for you! Happy Mapping!
16:40:33 S 52 deg 51.24' W 070 deg 28.77' winds 20-25 knots, air 9.8 degrees
18:18:55 S 52 deg 40.13' W 070 deg 02.56' winds 8-10 knots, air 11.6 degrees
20:44:29 S 52 deg 30.42' W 069 deg 35.21' winds17-20 knots, air 14 degrees

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