Saturday, March 19, 2016

It’s not all field work…

We left Palmer yesterday morning, after picking up cargo and some passengers. We headed back up to Livingston Island, where there is a field camp at Cape Shirreff. We have to pick up some scientists who have been living and working there and take them back to Punta Arenas with us. Since the field camp is closing for the season, there was a lot of cargo to load onto the ship! We pitched in to help with the loading and unloading.

There isn’t a pier at Cape Shirreff, so everything had to ferried across on the zodiacs. First, the zodiacs carried some of us from the LMG over to the camp to help load gear into cargo bags. Uffe, Dave, and Kelli went with that group. Here’s that group waiting to get on the zodiacs and head for shore in the background:

They loaded the gear onto the zodiacs, and the MT’s were driving the zodiacs back and forth to deliver it all to the LMG. Here’s Mike and Branson bringing us a load. A crane pulls the cargo bag out of the zodiac and puts it on the back deck of the LMG.

Connor and I were on “deck duty” here on the LMG. We helped load all of that cargo into a mill van that will hold it all the way back to Punta Arenas. Here we are in the mill van, along with Cindy who also was on deck duty:

It was sweaty work! We were feeling pretty tough at the end of it:

From here, we head back to Punta Arenas. It will take a few days re-crossing the Drake Passage back to South America. The weather reports are that it won’t be too bad for the rest of today, but then a low pressure system moves in and we’ll have rough seas again. At least this time we know how to prepare. I have two water bottles full of water and a stash of apples and nuts. That way, I can just lay in my cabin without having to get up to get food and water. We’ll all hunker down again for a couple days until we arrive back in the Strait of Magellan. We’ll see if I can write any blog posts during the transit…

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