Happy new year!
Three days ago I arrived in Punta Arenas on my way to the Antarctic Peninsula. Punta Arenas is at the southern end of Chile and the South American continent. The picture shows a view of the famous Magellan Strait.
For the next two months we will be on board the Nathaniel B Palmer, a US research vessel. The ship is quite big, bigger than any I have been on, with generous lab space, meeting rooms, etc. While it looks big in port, it will feel like a nutshell once we're out in the Drake passage (between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula)
Below is a picture of the main deck on the back side of the ship. Yesterday was very busy, stowing all the cargo away. The cruise has marine biologists, physical oceanography, marine geology, and us land-based creatures. We will be using the ship as a platform to get to the glaciers in the Larsen B/C area of the Antarctic Peninsula. We have two helicopters available.
A view of the Nathaniel B Palmer (the closer one) and the British James Cook on New Year's Eve.
We won't have internet access on the ship (except for email), so I won't be able to update this blog. But watch for updates on http://iceshelf.wordpress.com/