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12 Feb

November 11th, 2011 at 11:11am was a moment that will only come once every 100 years.  There were many projects around the world to have folks commemorate this event by taking a photograph or making a video identifying where they were and/or what they were doing. 

Here at Palmer Station, we joined in:

Not everyone could break away from work (or wanted to be photographed), but here is the majority of our crew here; scientists and support staff.

It was nice to feel a part of something separate from the day to day grind called work around here. 

For more information about the project, you can check it out at 

Where were you on November 11th, 2011 at 11:11am?


Success…Recreational Boating does exist here at Palmer.

12 Feb

After one attempt to go Rec boating failed, I was determined not to give up.  On a nice Sunday morning in November (yes, I am bit slow in posting), the weather decided to cooperate and we decided to take our chances for Attempt #2.

We packed our bags and headed out.   We were headed out to Torgeson Island.  There was no ice in view and even though the sky was full of clouds, we were hoping for a nice day. 

We took off and made it past the pier, farther than Attempt #1.  It felt amazing to be on the zodiac in open water.  Such a feeling of freedom came upon me.  I was excited to be heading out.  It felt like such a treat.  One of those treats you only get when you are on vacation. 

We landed at Torgeson, parked, and headed on the Island to start exploring.  Torgeson Island is known to be one of the larger colonies for the adelie penguins.  During this time of the year, they are starting to mate and build their nests.  We we fortunate enough to see some amazing things today.

After exploring Torgeson, we headed to Loud Water Cove.  This is not an area we can land, but just zip around and explore.  We saw some amazing parts to the Marr Ice Piedment as well as some bergie bits floating in the area.

Check out this slideshow to view some of the awesome sights today’s adventures on Torgeson:

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It was a pretty amazing and unforgetable day.

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest…

5 Feb

One the significant differences between Palmer and the other American stations is that we have a great influx of tourists.  We will have yachts just ‘drop in’ because they were in the area.  We will see smaller cruise ships holding approximately 150 passengers and even some ginormous cruise ships with over 1000 passengers.

For the yachts and smaller cruise ships, they are often invited on station for a tour and afternoon snacks.  (Yes, snacks  just like you had in grade school).  What this means for the station is that most normal and regular activity is halted.  Everyone in the community supports our visitors.  Some become a tour guide, others help out in our station store, or and the remainder become a part of the ‘Meet and Greet’ in the Galley.  During this mingling time, there are usually a number of scientists talking about what projects they are working on as well a variety of station support staff.

If time permits for our visitors, the yachts and cruise ships will invite the community out to their ship.

On a beautiful day in November, the National Geographic Explorer, aka NGE, (our first cruise ship of the season) made a stop here.  They came on station for the tour and snacks and then invited us for some cocktails and to check out their palace.  Who could say no to that?

We loaded up in a few zodiacs and headed out.  They were parked in Arthur Harbor so the ride was not too long.

The zodiac heading out ahead of us. And yes, that's ice all around us. The ride over was slow and steady.

This was the view from the zodiac. She was a pretty ship.

We were greeted by very welcoming NGE staff.  Then they immediately ushered us to their bar and lounge area for beverages (adult or otherwise) and some snacks.

It wasn't hard to feel comfortable and at ease here.

After some lounging time, I felt I could stand around and drink anywhere, I wanted to check out the ship.  I headed out with some buddies of mine.

This is Judy and Mark, my partners in crime for our self guided ship tour. You can tell it's a hard life down here. : )

Our first stop was the deck.  We took in some sun and kept moving.  We accidentally found the gym and spa, a few more decks for lounging, and then came across my favorite inside area on this ship, the Library.  There were windows on both sides with comfy Jetson’s chairs that can do a full 360 degree turn.

Deep in thought...or still buzzing from the adult beverages?

The tour continued.

Happy and Carefree...

We also took in some views of the area as seen from the ship.

The station with the Weincke Mountain range in the backdrop.

Our beautiful home away from home.

Mount William with an amazing blue sky.

We concluded our self guided tour and landed back in the bar, collected our folks and sailed into the sunset…

The view of the NGE as we departed.

Okay, not really into the sunset and we didn’t really sail, but we zodiaced back to station.  It was a great ending to a long day.

Views around town

18 Jan

It’s very easy to get caught up in the drama and truama of everyday life down here.  One way that I like to stay grounded is to capture the daily views and try to remember the beauty and awe of this place.

Here are  few shots that have helped keep me sane…

Sunset view from the Galley on October 4th.

Another sunset view from the Galley on November of the more clear days this season. An extremely windy day as seen from the balcony of the GWR (Garage, Warehouse, and Recreation) Building. Not a pretty sight, unless you are inside.

A clear day in November with a nice view of the Wiencke Island mountain range.

Another nice November sunset.

From the backyard, watching the sun set behind the station.

A view of a small portion of the Marr Ice Piedmont as seen from the Hero Inlet side of the backyard.

Watching the sun set from inside the Rec Hut. Toregeson Island is in clear view as you watch the sun set from the hut.

Another view of the Wiencke Island mountain range as seen from the boardwalk between the Bio Lab Building and the GWR Building.

A cool looking bergie bit floating right outside my window in Arthur Harbor.

Another view of Arthur Harbor and the Marr Ice Piedmont. The water was very calm this day in November and the sun was shining.

While waiting on the pier to head out to a cruise ship, I saw some wildlife playing by the rocks.

This Gentoo penuin knew I was there, but didn't want to turn all the way around to pose for the photo. I think he was preoccupied tanning.

Lastly, a sunset over Wiencke Island.

So there are a great deal of the sun setting and the beautiful scenery around the station.  It’s these shots that help me get through the bad days.

Krill in a Bowl…not the San Fransico Treat

11 Jan

One of the science groups here is studying krill, a shrimp like marine crustacean that is near the bottom of the food chain.

After one day of sampling in the water, the group brought back a bunch of krill to study.  As they were waiting, they put them on display.

I thought it would be cool for you all to see ‘Krill in a Bowl.’

To give you some perspective, the diameter of this bowl is about 10".

Pretty cool, right?