Last night when we went to bed it was dark outside. Darkness seemed so weird to us – we’ve become used to the sun never really setting. The idea that sometimes you can’t see outside was a little disconcerting.
Today is our last full day at sea; we plan to arrive at the dock tomorrow morning. Outside the water has gone from the dark clear blue of the Antarctic to an almost teal green as we approach the coast of Argentina. The air is warm and damp, and smells like plants and dirt. Still though, we have penguins; up here there are Magellanic penguins splashing in the waves.
We’re finishing up lab packing and cleaning. We’ve packed up our Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear to return it to the warehouse. All the lab supplies are packed up and we’re just waiting on official shipping stickers before we put the finishing touches on them and put them by the door ready to get craned off the ship.
We also went on a tour of the engine room today. The engine room is hot and loud – not my favorite place on the ship. It was interesting seeing the engines and shafts that drive the propellors, the generators that run the lights and everything on board, and the tanks which heat glycol to keep the deck from getting icy.