Icy Inverts 2004
Daily Journal of the R/V Laurence M. Gould
Dec. 2, 2004 --- Position  Lat/Long: S061° 38.707 W055° 50.704 (midnight)
[Air Temp: 0.6C/ Wind: 25-30k/ Water Depth: 748meters]
Long/Lat: S062° 45.197 W056° 45.827 (noon)
[Air Temp: 0.1C/ Wind: WNW 10k/ Water Depth: 201meters]
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Sleeping is not always good during the sleeping hours. Sometimes we get lots of roll from the ocean swell, and I haven’t figured out yet how to brace myself in my bunk from the back and forth, back and forth.

November 2004
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December 2004
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 I “networked” with the crew a little at lunchtime, and one of the engineers said to put my life preserver (next to every bunk, along with Survival Suits) under my mattress on one side, to create sort of a pocket or trough. That’s one I’ll try next time. Fortunately, we are in much calmer waters today, and sleep was good!

The word for the day is Icebergs!!! We passed King George Island to starboard heading mostly south toward the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, and saw the first big iceberg around noon. It was huge. It was flat. And it had blue ice making up most of the base of it. That blue, I’m told, is due to the compression of the ice over the life of the berg. The blue part is the oldest part of the iceberg (therefore, it makes sense that it’s at the bottom, right?). I noticed that the smaller floating ice (you know, the ones only the size of a Hummer!) is usually blue, so it stays compressed like that - the most compact being the last to melt, and that ice is fresh at that point. All of the salt has been ‘squeezed out’. It was interesting to look at those pieces that were just barely on the surface, bobbing up and down with the waves. When they submerged, the water often filled the crevices in them, and it would spout up almost like a whale’s blow. (Alas, no whales …yet.) We held a vote for the iceberg photos that should be represented in this letter today. You know, it isn’t easy, each gigantic sculpture of nature being more phenomenal than the last. No two are alike, and just like pieces of art, it’s impossible to state with conviction that one is more beautiful than the other, “….the eye of the beholder..” type of thing. And I must say, photographs do not do justice or make your breath catch in mid-inhale as when you’re actually standing on deck beholding the sights with your own eyes.

Iceberg Terminology: See the attached document, “Know Your Ice” – it’s posted on the wall here on the ship, so we will all be that much more educated by the time we get home. Knowing how to tell a pancake from a tabular, or a bergie bit from a growler – now that’s a lesson worth learning. Most icebergs start out tabular, or flat on top. The ones with irregular surfaces (the part we see), are icebergs that have “flipped over”. They eventually melt away, and the ice mass starts all over again the next winter season. [See Image 1 and 2 – Icebergs]

I was writing this journal in the computer room, at a computer next to ship’s crew member, Guillermo Pizarro, and he…well …it leads me to the New Spanish Word for the Day (in recognition of the multicultural group of people with whom we share the LMG): Estornudar = To Sneeze (don’t laugh, this is a challenging verb!) [graçias, Guillermo] Yo estornudo, tu estornudas, el/ella estornuda nosotros estornudamos, vosotros estornudasteis, ellos estornudaron

Catch of the Day: I’d have to say, the icebergs, although, thankfully, not in the nets. [See Images]

We did do some science today, by the way. There were a couple of plankton tows that yielded several of 7 or 8 different kinds of larvae each, and that’s a good day.


 A Blake (“look what the cat dragged in”) Dredge brought up many, many brittle stars, all sizes, crustaceans, sea spiders and an octopus. But there was a huge (5”X2”?) scale worm and another large seastar. I though you’d rather see the star, but let me know and I’ll put up the worm photo another day (or did that go on the dinner menu?). [See Image 3: Seastar]

Dinner Menu (shipboard, 12/1):

Spaghetti and spicy meat sauce,
pork chops,
rice and canned veggies,
chocolate cake with banana filling and strawberry sauce
(yeah, well, the bananas were getting overripe, and…)