After so many little bumps in the road we have finally gotten out to an only mildly bumpy sea around 1600 on Monday the 13th. We had the luxury of being able to explore Punta Arenas on the morning before departing for a well-deserved goodbye to the land. I am glad to have kissed the toe of the Native god statue before leaving because that is supposed to ensure that I will eventually return to Punta Arenas. Photos will be uploaded on the UMass website soon! (www.harbor1.umb.edu/stres/)
We have prepared the laser particle size analyzer instrument and laser optical plankton counter for deployment and set up all of our lab gear on tables with tape and tie downs to ensure that it will stay there through rough seas. The 6-10 ft seas of the Drake Passage have not been too intimidating so far but half the ship is still seasick or extremely drowsy from seasick medication. The crew has been working hard to get all instruments and nets ready for our arrival on our first sampling station in Wilhelmina Bay of the Gerlache Strait tomorrow morning! We are all very excited to wake up in Antarctic waters!