Hello faithful readers!
It has been a while since a post. For good reason. The last couple weeks have been spent traversing from Denver CO to Palmer Station Antarctica! And it is good to be here. I can finally start nesting! I think in a strange way I'm kind of a homebody. My homes just happen to be in ridiculous places.
I'll take you through a step by step process of getting to Palmer. It will take several blog entries so stay tuned over the next couple days!
This is a pic of what I can only assume are the Andes. We flew from Santiago Chile to Punta Arenas and sights like these were below us the entire time. And yes, there were visible signs of the earthquake even at the airport. Lots of construction and newly refurbished walls. It looks like they are getting back on their feet. Hooray Chile!
These shots are from my hotel room. PA is a great city and I'll be excited to spend more time there. Beautiful sunsets as well.
When United States Antarctic Program (forevermore USAP) particpants travel through Chile, they are supported by AGUNSA. The pics are of the AGUNSA building on the pier where we are issued our ECW gear. Very small operation compared to the CDC in Christchurch. But of course, they are supporting less people. Sebastian was one of our contacts. He was super helpful with everything from where to buy groceries, giving us larger pairs of pants, and even a Spanish lesson here and there. It is now a goal of mine to learn Spanish while I am down here. Or at least study it so as to not be a complete moron.
Here's the boat! The big red one. The R/V LAURENCE M. GOULD. She was to be our home for the next several days as we crossed the Drake Passage. (Anybody out there know why boats are "shes?") But more on the boat later.
In the town square of Punta Arenas, there sits a huge statue of Magellan. Obviously an homage to Ferdinand Magellan, the explorer famous for sailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as well as the first to cross the Pacific Ocean. We will navigate through the Straits of Magellan our first night on the boat. Unfortunately in the dark.
Anywho, it is tradition to view the statue and kiss the toe of said statue for good luck on your voyage. I understand the tradition but will be damned if I kiss any toe. I suppose its kinda like the Blarney Stone. Locals piss all over it and then laugh at the jackass tourists that kiss their potty place. Morons. So I just rubbed the toe instead. Then washed my hands.
That's all for now! Stay tuned tomorrow for "Crossing the Drake Passage..."
THE AFOREMENTIONED VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE MINE AND MINE ALONE. I AM NOT ENDORSED BY OR AUTHORIZED TO SPEAK AS A REPRESENTATIVE OR SPOKESPERSON FOR ANY COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION.