Life at Palmer Station has been exceptionally hectic for me these past few weeks. I know I never had time to fully recover from the previous port call before I had to start getting ready for the one that is coming up. As a result of my own upcoming departure and subsequent seasonal retirement (thanks Kimber!) I’ve got a lot going through my mind but haven’t had the time to elaborate on it much through writing. Rather than write about how I’m feeling about the upcoming transition from rigid structure to the chaos of the world, I figure I’ll let Neal do my work for me in this post. I think he sums it up quite well!
A few weeks back, I received a synopsis of the cruise which I will be departing on. The cruise is (was) putting in some Antarctic field camps on the way to Palmer Station there is a day or two built into the schedule to allow for weather delays which are common (ya think?). With the field camps put in the last major objective of the cruise is to exchange some passengers. The ship arrived this afternoon, but high winds with gusts near gale force prevented the ship from tying up to the pier. If it is able to tie up tomorrow, things will still look good for a departure on the 22nd. There is, however, a fairly good chance that we’ll have to make a detour to a godawful hunk of rock about 40 miles from here. There is some sort of whiz-bang sciencey type GPS instrument parked on that rock that hasn’t been working right and an attempt will likely be made to get it back to working order.
The malfunctioning instrument is a fairly big deal and lots of people are interested in having it fixed, but the rock that it is on is woefully inaccessible in all but the calmest of seas and winds. Add a generous helping of sea ice to the mix and this part of the cruise becomes a huge wild card. Nonetheless, I have gambled a bit and gone ahead and booked some plane tickets. I am now free to obsess over things that are even further in my future and represent greater unknowns. You can track the ship here or, sometimes that one doesn’t work and here is another or…if you’re reading this article on my site, as opposed to some rss feed/facebook/twitter thing…there is a “Where’s Will” link on that slick new drop down menu immediately under the header on this page. Through the magic of my superior php coding skills, the link should automatically change based on the dates when I THINK I’ll be on the boat and will then revert back to my old iPhone tracking thingamajiggy at the end of the cruise so that you can follow my movement through South America