30º3’S 71º57’W by Andrew Babbin
Well, we’re underway, steaming northward at 10 knots. We are spending the next few days preparing for all the multitude of samples we will begin collecting as soon as we are allowed to start conducting science, at 20ºS. This involves typing down all of our gear, hooking up gas lines, mixing chemical reagents, and drinking as much coffee as we can get our hands on. To this last point, the Palmer does not have coffee cups (a surprise to us all!) so during our stay in Valparaiso, most of us bought mugs so we can keep caffeinated. I felt the need to personalize mine so no one confuses it for their own. I’m including a picture of it (the clean lab space behind it is the “before” picture, as in before the chaos that is science at sea begins – we’ll see just how long we’re able to keep the space looking so pristine).
Andrew Babbin’s “pre-science” lab space. Brian Peters is peaking his head out from behind a refrigerator.
We have a bit of downtime given just how many days we have before we start sciencing, so a bunch of us have filled the spare hours reading, practicing knots, or singing My Heart Will Go On at the bow of the vessel… Coolest thing so far is that I spotted a penguin swimming yesterday in Valparaiso harbor! I actually didn’t realize that there were penguin species this far north! I guess that’s why I study microbiology. Ciao for now!