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Calm before the Storm

11/30/2010, 8:22 PM by Lollie Garay
Porthole view from the THIRD DECK above the water!<br/><br/>Credit: Tish Yager
Porthole view from the THIRD DECK above the water!
Photo Credit: Tish Yager

Nov 30

64°25.4'S, 70°11.2'W

5:45 PM Chilean time


 A post from Chief Scientist Tish Yager:


“We’re about to say hello to December in the Antarctic....  and we are greeted with a big storm here in what we thought would be the relatively calm waters off the Antarctic Peninsula!


We are experiencing very rough weather on our way to Marguerite Bay. Currently winds are at 40 knots and the seas have to be 30' waves if not more.  Decks are closed to all persons.  The air temp is -1.5C, just like the water and it’s overcast and snowing a bit.


We are expected to arrive at our station (66°22'S, 71°25'W) tomorrow morning at 6 AM, at which point the crab team would like to start it's AUV operations... but we may not if it's rough like this.  They need to tow that little guy at 2 m off the bottom, which would be impossible in these seas.


So, we are all safe and warm inside... but science is on hold until the weather lightens up.  So goes Antarctic research....


We are still on Chilean time (two hours ahead of east coast).  Just heard from the captain that we will shift one hour for every 7.5 degrees of longitude that we transit though on our way west. Once in the polynya, we will likely stay in the same time zone for a couple/few weeks, then shift some more once we head to McMurdo Station.


We are currently at 64°S - so it's staying quite light until very late.  I think we did have a bit of darkness last night, but not more than a few hours.”


Tish also sent some weather images and the current cruise track- see them in the gallery!


On another note, I have invited both the science team and the crew to share some of their adventures during the expedition. Look for more posts from them soon! :)






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Question of the Day

  • What are Polynyas and why are they important to study?

    Polynyas, are recurring areas of seasonally open water surrounded by ice.

    Energy and material transfer between the atmosphere, polar surface ocean, and the deep sea in polynas provide polar ecosystems with just the right ingredients needed for high productivity and intense biogeochemical recycling.

    Polynyas may be the key to understanding the future of Polar Regions since their extent is expected to increase with anthropogenic warming.