Tagging Whales in the Antarctic Seas

Transiting between Wilhelmina Bay and Andvord Bay (Sat., 5/15/10) – Inside the NBP
by -- May 16th, 2010

A tour of the science hangout spots around the ship
Bunk

Hi all,

Today we thought we’d take a few pictures showing you what goes on inside the ship, where we spend much of our day and do much of our work.

Our days generally begin by dragging ourselves out of bed well before dawn (ok, dawn is around 8am, but still).  Most of us are in two-person staterooms with bunk beds and private bathrooms – quite nice little spaces that are very efficiently organized.

 

Gym

 

 

Many of us have been enjoying working out in the excellent gym.  Here Lindsey (pumping iron) and Andy (… um… I think that is running?) demonstrate some of the equipment available to keep active and in shape while on the ship.

 

Next thing is to head down to the mess hall for breakfast, where Ramsey and Alejandra have been cooking up smokin’ good meals four times a day.

Tag Lab

Tag Lab

After a day in the field, whether it is collecting prey data with the echosounders, completing visual surveys from the bridge, or tagging whales and doing behavioral focal follows in the small boats, we head back to download, catalogue, and process the data from the day.  Here are the labs where we spend most of our time; Ann in the tag lab, Danielle, Reny, Lindsey, Meagan, and Pat in the aft dry lab, and Colin and Roland in the forward dry lab.

After the data are securely backed up and equipment is prepped for the next day, we hope there’s enough time for a movie (or some rock band!) in the 02 lounge (yep, those massive comfy chairs do indeed recline… and there’s a bean bag too!).  Or ping pong in the helo (helicopter) hangar!  Round robin tournament starts today – Eric and Mike are seen here getting in some last minute training.  Hometown favorite Reny is looking good, adjusting to the non-regulation size table, but did I mention that Eric brought his own paddle?  Place your bets now!

Tomorrow we head to Andvord Bay, and pending ice, weather, and whale conditions, we’ll be back at it trying to put out tags, surveying, and collecting loads of data.

On a personal note, today was my graduation ceremony for my PhD at the University of Hawai’i.  We actually have four people in our science party who are graduating this semester:  Lindsey, Joy, Selina, and me.  What better way to celebrate graduation than surrounded by beautiful scenery in Antarctica, and working on new and exciting data?  However, I would have loved to walk in the ceremony, and I’ll close by sending a big shout out to Lindsey, Joy, Selina, Sheldon, Nori, Adam, Kevin, Kyle, and everyone else who just graduated, at UH and elsewhere – congratulations and very well done!

6 Comments

  1. Ma Tyson
    May 17, 2010

    Ping Pong

    Go Reny, my money is on you for Ping Pong.

  2. Jackie Stimpert
    May 17, 2010

    Graduation

    Kudos to you on your graduation day 🙂 We look forward to watching you walk in December. And thanks for the descriptions and visuals of where you are and what you’re doing. Fun to see everybody in action inside the boat. You all LOOK like you’re having fun!

  3. Shelley Johnson
    May 17, 2010

    Good Blog

    My husband, Richard Johnson, is an assistant engineer aboard the Palmer. Your blog is a great way for me to get a glimpse of the mission and the importance of what you do.
    Fair winds.
    Shelley

  4. Nicole
    May 17, 2010

    Aloooha Stimpert!

    Love the blog! I like the walk through … helps to see what in the heck you guys are doing out there!! I thought it was just rock band, leg warmers, and dance parties!? You actually have labs. Cool. And CONGRATS on walking in the Antarctic … probably the antithesis of Hawaii; you always like to spice things up! Aloha beautiful!! 🙂 nic

  5. Kyle
    May 18, 2010

    Rockin Ship

    Alison, The ship is soo cool! Thanks for posting pics! Congrats to all you grads!!!! Such a relief! Now time to start our real life 🙂 Also, thanks for the graduation shout out! I feel so cool getting a shout out on an Antarctica blog! Hope you are having a great time! Getting closer!!!

  6. Veronica Statham
    May 18, 2010

    Busy Busy Busy

    Sounds like you guys are staying busy all day long, and getting a lot done. Sounds like yall are combining just enough fun with work with the tagging of the whales then playing RockBand and ping pong.

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