Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19: Palmer station

Yesterday the whole glaciology team (Erin, Ted, Terry, Ron, and myself) flew from the British Rothera station to the US Palmer station with a Twin Otter. Palmer is a relatively small and very friendly station (about 40 people). There was a great turnout of people to watch the rare occasion of a plane landing here. The Twin Otter landed on the ice cap behind the station, which drops off quite steeply on all sides, making for an exciting landing.

Palmer station is mainly devoted to biology and oceanography, so we are a bit different with our interest in ice. But we have been treated like kings. The food is great, last night we had a hot tub, and today we got a boat tour to a penguin rookery.

It is late season for penguins, and most have left the island by now and are out at sea again. But there are a few stragglers who are still waiting to finish molting and will head out to sea for fresh food as soon as their coat is fresh.

The current plan is that we will rejoin the ship tomorrow and do some helicopter work from there.

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