Happy Graduation Iain and Michelle!

Congratulations to our graduates, Iain and Michelle!  Both URI biology students missed graduation today to be here in Antarctica.

We decided throw our own graduation!  Iain and Michelle were lured to their surprise Antarctic graduation with a “safety meeting on the bow.”  There, on the snowy bow of the Palmer, we donned them with white graduation gowns and snowflake-tassled grad caps.  The air was filled with ceremonious music (the well-known “graduation march”) when Iain and Michelle accepted their official-looking School of the Antarctic diplomas.  It was snowing, of course.

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After our snowy bow graduation, the festivities continued with a liquid nitrogen ice cream party in the galley, decorated with banners and the URI blue-and-white.  Our at-sea tech Julian stirred up a concoction of cream, sugar, coffee syrup, and chocolate milk into large metal bowls.  Iain and Michelle stirred vigorously as liquid nitrogen was poured into the mixture, making two delicious vats of ice cream to be enjoyed by the whole ship.

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Graduation day excitement didn’t end here–amidst net tows and sediment sampling, camera deployments and experiment setup, it seemed as if each scientific task of the day was interrupted with a can’t-be-missed wildlife siting.  As we deployed our sediment sampler, three humpback whales circled the ship.  For about two hours, our friends made a continuous loop around the ship, popping up their heads so close we could almost smell their breath and feel their spray on our faces.

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We passed by a plump seal, feet away from the ship, taking a nap on a ice berg that looked like a large seal sofa–our presence didn’t wake him from his sleep.   Who knew ice bergs could be so comfy!

So, all-in-all, a wonderful day to celebrate the great achievements of Iain and Michelle.  Happy Graduation!  To future adventures!

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Categories: Life at Sea | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Happy Graduation Iain and Michelle!

  1. Michael Dennis

    Congratulations Michelle and Iain!

    Who would have thought 4 years ago when we left you in that freshman dorm that your graduation ceremony would take place on the deck of a research vessel in the Antarctic!

    Keep warm and happy krill hunting. See you 1 month from today.

    Dad

  2. Lisa Dennis

    Congratulations to Ian and beautiful Michelle! So proud of you Michelle,

  3. Laurie McCoy

    What a fabulous celebration for our Iain and Michelle!! Congratulations and thank you to all that helped make this day so special and memorable for our kids!! We really appreciate all that you did! Love, Mom and Dad McCoy

  4. Holly McCoy

    Congratulations, Iain and Michelle! Iain,your mom shared the blog link with us, and we’re enjoying following your adventures. Duncan was especially thrilled that your Bills hat made it to graduation..

  5. Barbara Dennis

    Congratulations Michelle and Ian! So happy you had a beautiful day and who can say they spent graduation day in antarctica! So glad they made the day so special. So proud of you and all you have accomplished, See you soon. Xxxooo Mom

  6. Chris Daigle

    Congrats Iain! Awesome pics! We posted the link on the Club Sports Twitter page for all our followers to see. Enjoy your trip. Can’t wait to hear stories when I see you around the neighborhood when you get back. Chris Daigle

  7. John McCoy

    Congrats Iain!

  8. John McCoy

    What a fabulous celebration for Iain and Michelle!! Congratulations and thank you to all who helped make this day so special and memorable for our kids!! We really appreciate all that you did!! Love Mom

  9. Mike and Holly

    Congrats !!

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