Welcome to the web site for Sediment and Solute Transport on Rivers and Margins (SSTORM) Research Group! Reide Corbett and J.P. Walsh from East Carolina University and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute lead the team.
Check out our research in/on wetlands, estuaries, barrier islands, shelves and groundwater.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Arrived in Punta Arenas

After ~20 hours of traveling, we arrived in Punta Arenas (see photo of the cityscape from my hotel window).  We had time to relax, see the town, get some dinner, and a good nights rest before getting ready for the voyage south.  In preparation, we went to the park in the city center…there is a large statue of Magellan.  One of the toes on the statue has been shined through the many people that touch/rub it.  Why, you ask???  Well, the saying goes, for good luck crossing the Drake Passage, you should rub the toe of Magellan.  I rubbed all of his toes for extra good luck!  In fact, I almost kissed them…

Today, we were issued our Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear (picture of the group trying on gear)…fleece, parka, gloves, etc.  The US Antarctic Program (USAP) provides all this gear at no cost.  We are outfitted and ready to face the cold.

At that point, we moved all of our gear onto the 230 ft research vessel Laurence M Gould.  This is the second time I have sailed on the Gould, so I am familiar with the layout and science operations (makes it easier to get acclimated/oriented). As chief scientist, I am lucky to have a really spacious state room.  I was surprised to see that some of our maps we used last year had been framed and mounted on the walls of the Chief Scientist's office.  What a warm welcome!

So, we are now living aboard the LMG and prepping to set sail tomorrow morning.  Wish us luck crossing the Drake…

The Drake Passage is named after Sir Francis Drake, a 16th century English privateer.  This body of water separates the southern tip of South America (Cape Horn) and the  South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.  It is known to be one of the roughest places in the ocean…with waves reaching 40 ft often.


  1. Thanks for the update Reide.
    Good luck with the seas...stomach churns just thinking of 40ft waves. Ughhhhh

  2. Safe travels to all of you! May the seas be kind!