10/30/2013 – Gravity, Nausea, and Cape Shirreff

Michelle writes:

Let’s talk about gravity. I have been made keenly aware of this force for the past 40 hours because my equilibrium is out of whack and I am seasick. Here are some fun ways gravity is proving to be a whole new experience aboard the Gould.

  1. The stairs either rise up to meet me, or fall out beneath my feet.
  2. I have to time when I open doors, otherwise I am fighting a losing battle.
  3. I am suddenly walking on both sides of the hallway.
  4. I watched an orange roll back and forth across the mess hall floor.
  5. Getting out of the top bunk can be a lesson in being a ninja … or I can just fall out.
Watch a movie here while feeling sick

Watch a movie here while feeling sick

Apart from being sick, I am enjoying the ride. And even the sickness has dissipated thanks to some new medication. Moreover, everyone is really helpful in trying to get a fellow passenger cured. Amy (one of our senior scientists) checks in to make sure I am doing okay. Amelia (my advisor and the chief scientist for this cruise) let me crash in her room because it is more centrally located, unlike mine, which is near the bow. And Tasha brings me food from the dinner or lunch I may have missed. This just goes to show we truly are a little community. It’s hard to feel too bad when you have people looking out for you.

Work out here while feeling sick? (Not recommended.)

Work out here while feeling sick? (Not recommended.)

Okay, enough pity party, here’s what’s new.

That zodiac will be getting a good workout soon

That zodiac will be getting a good workout soon

Our first stop will be Cape Shirreff, one of the field stations located along the north coast of the South Shetland Islands. There is a team of four scientists that will be staying at the station for about five months to monitor the diets of seabirds and seals. Their supplies onboard need to be transferred from the ship to the station when we get to Cape Sherriff. That’s where the whole crew comes in. We get to the station tonight and will begin unloading supplies in the morning. This requires people helping with operations onboard the ship, in the zodiacs (small boats), and on land. Duties include driving the zodiacs, hauling equipment from the shore to the station, shoveling snow, and setting up the station.


Arriving at Cape Shirreff also means a close up interaction with seals and penguins. For all my biology and ecology friends out there, you will be happy to know that this geologist is so excited to see some Antarctic wildlife. I will take pictures and post them ASAP. For now, I have just included these pictures of the ship so readers can see where we spend most of our time while in transit.

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