Monday, November 09, 2009

Made it!

Annie enjoys a change of scenery

All went smoothly this morning and we were standing on the frozen ocean of McMurdo Sound by about 3:45 this afternoon. We arrived on the warmest day of the 2009-10 Austral summer so far - about 20 degrees F, very little wind, and clear skies. Annie and Scott are exploring McMurdo before heading to snow school tomorrow morning. PenguinScience education leader Jean Pennycook is already here and has set up our lab for us. It is all so familiar, yet so strange.

Our extended stay in Christchurch provided the opportunity to watch David Ainley and Peter Young present "The Last Ocean" last night to a full house at the Christchurch Art Center. Peter has put together some beautiful video, interspersed with fantastic photos by John Weller. This came on the heels of the very sad story in Friday's news about an abandoned (illegal) 130 km gillnet set at 1500 m off the Australian sector of Antarctica (found with 29 tonnes of toothfish in it). All in all a bit overwhelming, but also motivating. We are working on a synthesis of all the available biological datasets for the Ross Sea so that we can demonstrate the unique value of this place. These datasets contain observations spanning nearly 100 years and have been provided by over 40 different project teams.


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