Life Aboard Ship, Dispatches From South of the "Roaring Forties"
16, 2004, off the South Sandwich Islands
The wind has been rising all day, so that by the time we made our last tow, it was blowing over 30 kts (temperature 7.9° C or 14° F, wind chill about -26° C or -15° F).
However, we are well outfitted and this ship is a real miracle. Even in these conditions I was able to exercise on the treadmill (a interesting feeling at times when I was suddenly climbing a much steeper hill or descending one rapidly!). We’re going south now at about 7.9 kts (can’t do 10, it’s too rough) to Montagu Island, where we will set traps in the morning. It’s possible that we will be in sea ice there; farther south it’s probably fast ice.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Today we are at Montagu Island, the largest of the S. Sandwiches chain. We are also in the ice, although it is sea ice, not fast ice, and pancakes and growlers with bergs. Very interesting and EXCITING. The temperature was much colder today, minus 12.5 C, with a wind chill down to minus 43C (it was very windy, with gusts to over 40 kts). We surveyed the bottom most of the morning and then worked this afternoon. One of the neat features of this ship is that the deck is heated so there's no accumulation of ice or snow where we are working. Today, the working deck was fired up. It's really quite amazing to see the bulwarks and everything above deck level ice covered, but the deck clear and steaming (deck temp is 100 F!). There was a reason they gave us all that stuff in Punta Arenas before we left.