|Icy Inverts 2004|
|Daily Journal of the R/V Laurence M. Gould|
|Dec. 15, 2004 --- Position Lat/Long: S064° 45.399 W062° 49.791 |
[Wind: NNE 15-17kn / Air Temp: 1.1C / Wind Chill: -12.2C /Depth: 391m]
|Because there was a cruise ship in Paradise Bay (oh, spare me the civilization of it all!), we opted to first visit Andvord Bay by Rongé Island, also in the Gerlache Strait. We were in good company here, as a small sailboat was sighted making its way through the bay between icebergs and ice floe.|| Photo1 || |
Our Mate radioed and spoke with them – it was a 42-foot Dutch sloop with 7 people aboard. They were here on vacation. Zikes! What kind of craft is this that came here through the same dense ice floe we did???!?!? (Either skilled or just plain crazy – but it would have been worth many spendoolies to me to be out sailing on that bay with them!!) [See Image 1]
To get to Paradise Bay this afternoon, we were able to follow a small cut on the southwest side of Andvord between Lemaire Island with it’s tall Rojas Peak, and Duthiers Point on the Continent. There was a Chilean station right on the point, which looked like a painting with a backdrop of snow covered mountain peaks. [See Image 2] Paradise Bay is made up of the Antarctic continent on its east border, with Lemaire I. to the north, and Bryde Island to the southwest and west.
Finally in the Bay-of-choice, we performed two Smith-MacIntyre grabs, which pulled up about a basin-full of fine dark gray muck. In it were several worms and a few isopods (you know, the little sandflea-like critters). Another Smith-Mac grab was done, and from that Ken decided to do a pair of Box Dredge tows, expecting to retrieve rocks (and this dredge can take it!). The first pulled up several interesting things, including a large amount of kelp. This kelp was about 8 inches wide and 15 feet long – imagine its living in this cooooooold water! In the second tow more kelp, but in amongst the kelp fronds were some equally long stringy pieces of – what?? They weren’t worms, and didn’t seem to have any roots. Someone in the gelatinous zooplankton group identified them as jellyfish tentacles!! Would we like to have seen the owner of those? Maybe… but from a distance, thank you. Without being too repetitive, I wish to put in a word for Andvord and Paradise Bays. They were spectacular on this, yet another sparkling clear, sunny day. We all agreed that the snow on the bay-bordering mountain peaks all the way to the water looked like royal icing when it was smooth and shiny, or meringue - especially when it formed crevasses under its own weight. Both bays offered a fair number of small bergies floating by, probably still migrating from cove to cove as the springtime progresses and they bob and whittle down to nothing. [See Images 3 & 4]
The dive team is getting some serious ice diving done these days, as we are traversing waters that still have a lot of ice floe. Besides being very quiet down there, the divers have a new safety hazard to be aware of. Under usual conditions (in non-ice laden waters), if a diver has an emergency, “safety is UP”. In ice diving, like diving under a ship or in a cave, if a diver gets into trouble, “safety is SIDEWAYS”, back in the direction they came, and then UP.
Although they didn’t see salps or any living thing this evening, Sandy Williams reported seeing penguins right there by the zodiac on a small berg when he came up from the dive. One penguin waddled over to the edge and looked into the water for a moment. Suddenly he “plopped” into the water, and in an instant he popped up on the berg again with a fish in his mouth. Now, the divers had been down there for 20 minutes and saw nothing, and in a split second this penguin had lunch. Aren’t nature and instinct beautiful things?
Catch of the Day: Beautiful shot of peak on Anvers Island, by Adriene Burnette [Image: 5]