Saturday, January 21, 2006

Successful sampling and Boats galore!

After yesterdays failed sampling trip we were determined to succeed in sampling today.  We were so lucky for the weather that we had today.  It was so clear and beautiful that we were able to see the Mountains in all of their glory.  Better than that our sampling went smoothly letting us soak up the sun and take in the sights.  While we were sampling at station E we saw the Clipper Adventurer entering the area from the Lemaire Channel.  The Clipper was due for tours of the station earlier today but had some better sights to see on their way.  We left E and while sampling at station B the 338 foot cruiser came by us with only three people out on deck watching their entrance to the harbor.  I don’t know, but they must have been serving drinks or lunch inside for so few to be out in the beautiful weather.  If I had paid $10,000 to get on a boat in Antarctica I would be stapled to the bow.  This makes four boats in the harbor right now, Amazing!  I had no idea that we would ever see anybody down here except for the scientists and staff.  I have to say that it is not bad to have people coming around asking questions about what we are doing and being truly interested in hearing about science that we are conducting.  It is also nice to see new faces and hear about the outside world.  The New York Times is not always the way to get information.

Our other guests are the Canadian vessel Sedna IV, the Chicago Vessel of two Onora and the Spirit of Sydney from Australia.  These boats are all sailboats.  The Onora and the Spirit of Sydney are family owned boats that are on fun trips while the Sedna’s trip may be fun their goal is to complete a documentary about climate change in Antarctica.  The crew that will be on this boat for the next year, during a winter over deployment, is the very same crew that filmed a documentary on climate change in the Arctic.  They have very kindly given the station a copy of the series; it is five DVD’s filmed in HD.  This series was on the Discovery channel.  Last night they visited us and gave us a wonderful overview of their early filming and a nice little talk from a scientist on board studying cold tolerance in Antarctic birds.  This was very nice and educational.  

The Onora crew joined us for this presentation making this gathering even more special.  Jim and Jean Foley have been circumnavigating the globe throughout their retired lives.  This is their second long trip lasting 1 year.  But 10 years ago they went on a 3 year tour of the world and traveled around the entire globe.  They are documenting their trips on a web site at .  We are all looking forward to seeing more of all of these people, we are talking about having them over for dinner tomorrow.  


Amie said...


I have applied for a one-month position on the Nathaniel B. Palmer research vessel through Raytheon, but I don't have any applicable experience. I work in consulting, but have really been thinking about making a life change and switching to the Sciences – maybe as a Naturalist. I know that will take extra schooling, but I thought it would be a really amazing first step to experience working in Antarctica.

Anyway, I just thought I’d see who was out there and if anyone could give me some advice on how to land this position. It’s a paying position, but I want it so bad I'll do it for next to nothing! I'd also love to hear from anyone who has had experience on a research vessel there in Antarctica.

George, I’m not sure if this is specifically your blog, but I saw that you live Upstate NY. I’ve lived in Manhattan for the past 2½ years, but I’m originally from Seattle. I really miss the mountains and the great outdoors.

Thanks and stay warm! :)

gorg said...

Hi Amie,

That is totally awesome! Changing your life path is a huge step, but if you have a dream we should all follow your example and go for it. Congratulations on your discovery.

It sounds as though your ultimate goal is to make it down to Antarctica. If this is the case, your best bet might be to volunteer for one of the science groups that are stationed here yearly or at one of the other stations (McMurdo, South Pole). The best way to find out who is coming down to a station is to checkout some Google links and pages like this one .

There is also always the chance, if you have the correct background, to work aboard a cruise ship. Naturalists are highly regarded on these ships because seeing the animals is fun, but someone needs to tell everyone what it is that they seeing and to give a little background on their lifecycles and behaviors. I have never worked on a cruise ship, but it looks like fun. You are right though – this will take considerable schooling. Getting on a cruise ship as support staff (wait staff, etc.) is a reasonable idea, but might end up being long term.

As for landing the Raytheon position, it would depend on what you would be suited for, as in what experience you have. The best thing to do, would be to check out their web page and sort through it. I know that it is very difficult to get on these ships and the staff that I have met are not only highly experienced in their own focus but could pretty much help or take over many other positions on the boat. I would have to say that getting a position on NBP will be very difficult. I wish you good luck; it is a great place to experience working in science in the Antarctic.

I hope this is a little bit of help to you. Keep us up to date on your progress. Oh yeah – l it is not very far to the mountains of NY from Manhattan.

Best of luck,