Today we depart for the Drake Passage!
The crew spent much of the morning loading the ship with supplies for our voyage. Besides carrying our supplies, the R/V Laurence M. Gould will also re-supply Palmer Station with food, fuel and other necessities. Because of the challenges presented by Antarctica’s location and the lack of natural resources found there, re-supply ships and aircraft are used to bring everything on and off of the continent.
The scientific instruments that will be used in our study are set up and ready to sample. The crew of the LMG are working to construct a “clean lab” that will be used during the analysis of trace metals. In order to get accurate readings from the water samples they will need to be tested in an environment that is free of Iron. A make shift room will be built inside of one of the labs to create this “clean” environment.
As we near departure the final steps are being taken to batten down the ship for the crossing. Everything is being tied down and lashed into place. The crossing of the Drake Passage is supposed to take three and a half days, and we will not have our feet on solid ground again for at least nine days. This will be the longest stretch I ever spent at sea.
- Dave Sybert