Yesterday we saw the return of the L.M. Gould as she returned from the ice-fishing expedition to obtain samples for research here at Palmer Station. Those fish will keep the fish group busy while the Gould takes the next 10 days to cross the dreaded Drake Passage with its heaving waves to Punta Arenas, Chile, and back as they switch crews and field personnel.
We spent the day packing up our personnel gear, cleaning our rooms, and moving gear from the station to the ship. The ship was also busy loading on cargo vans to transport material back to Chile and to prepare for the next transit that will resupply Palmer Station for the winter.All of the seal team except Gitte McDonald will be heading across the Drake Passage tomorrow. Gitte will be staying here at Palmer Station to work on data and complete any sample analysis that can be done while she waits for the next seal team to arrive. That's Gitte working at her computer. The next seal team arrives in Punta Arenas on May 9, the same day we arrive back in California. The new crew will be lead by Dan Crocker and includes Patrick Robinson, Samantha Simmons, Stella Villegas, Tracy Goldstein and, for continuity, Gitte.
We have a BBQ of sorts here tonight, that will allow us to say thanks and good bye to the great folks here at Palmer Station.