Blog

The Final Installment

By Rebecca Gast | May 25, 2019

So, one last post before we get back to Punta Arenas. We wrapped up science and got all of our packing done before we arrived at Palmer Station.  The repair of the big crane on the Gould, and the transfer of containers from the Natty B, went very smoothly.  We were allowed to be on…

Nearing the End

By Rebecca Gast | May 17, 2019

We are down to our last 2 days of science time on the cruise.  That doesn’t really mean an end to the work though.  We need to wash everything and pack it away for our next cruise in November.  We also need to pack our samples and fill out tons of paper work in order…

Happy Mother’s Day

By Rebecca Gast | May 12, 2019

A quick post today to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. It was snowing like stink this morning, so we had a collection of birds on deck.  The dark one is a Cape Petrel, and we also had a bunch of the Snow Petrels.  Although the snow was melting quickly, it was falling so fast…

Seals and whales and penguins – OH MY!

By Rebecca Gast | May 10, 2019

We spend A LOT of our time working, but there are moments when we get to be tourists.  I mentioned our lovely sunny days down in Marguerite Bay, and for several days in early May we were near Hovgaard Island and the La Mer Channel. The La Mer Channel is also referred to as “Kodak…

Making Lemonade

By Rebecca Gast | May 10, 2019

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – or at least try to. I know I keep talking about this (and I promise this will be the last time), but when your CTD breaks, and the backup CTD refuses to work properly, how do you collect water for a project based entirely on collecting seawater? …

Ground Hog Day

By Rebecca Gast | May 5, 2019

I started this post on May 2, but … well, science happened!  As Wade has said, “we’re going to make science happen, whether it wants to or not.” It’s now been two weeks since we started our sampling, and up until last this past Tuesday we were collecting samples every day.  Despite the fact that…

REMIXED

By Rebecca Gast | April 28, 2019

Research Examining MIXotrophic Ecology and Diversity – what does that actually mean and why are we interested?  Traditionally, microbial eukaryotes (algae and protists – not bacteria) are considered either phototrophic (use sunlight to grow) or heterotrophic (eat prey to grow).  Mixotrophy refers to an organism’s ability to utilize a combination of these trophic strategies.  We…

World Penguin Day

By Rebecca Gast | April 25, 2019

Or as my colleague Wade calls it, “Take a Leopard Seal to Lunch Day”.  (The image is of a sticker that I bought at Palmer Station – oceanographers can have a warped sense of humor.)  But, since we are in the Antarctic, I should say something about penguins.  They are amusing to watch.  Clumsy on…

Palmer Station Pit Stop

By Rebecca Gast | April 21, 2019

We arrived at Palmer Station this morning (picture above, Happy Easter!), and are currently offloading supplies and fresh food for the station.  The first thing(s) to come off the ship were the tanks of juvenile krill that the Bernard lab group will be studying at Palmer (image below shows one of the large grey tanks…

Cape Shirreff

By Rebecca Gast | April 19, 2019

On Thursday, April 18, we awoke to see land for the first time in several days.  The ship had arrived at Cape Shirreff and it was time for the seal research team to leave us.  They will be spending the next 35-40 days at Shirreff Base on the island while they study leopard seals (we…