[This post written 6/12/08; position: lat -57'49", long -44'28"; temp 0C; wind chill -13C]
I thought a big piece broke off the iceberg yesterday! Hahahahahaha! This is hysterical laughter. The story actually begins last night. Just as I got into bed, Strike was lying on my pillow, and he said, “You’d better wrap you camera in a t-shirt and put it in the cupboard.”
I said, “Wha…?” And then I said, “Ash, did you hear that? Ash!” But Ash didn’t hear because he was asleep. I said, “Strike, why would I want to wrap my camera in a t-shirt?”
“To pad it when the big wave comes,” said Strike.
“What big wave? What’re you talking about you lunatic bird?”
“The one that happens when the iceberg breaks in two,” said Strike.
“I can’t believe I’m having this conversation, especially with a stuffed penguin,” I said. But I got up and did what he said anyway, and boy, am I ever glad. Because in the middle of the night, the iceberg really did break in two. I don’t know if there was a big wave or not, because I was asleep. I didn’t notice. But this morning a giant hunk of the iceberg was floating around a couple of miles from the rest of the iceberg. Dr. Helly says he estimates about 15% of the iceberg broke off.
One of the most awesome parts of all this is that the small piece is the right shape for penguins to climb onto and play! Seriously! We watched them hopping around and sliding down it into the water for a while today. Captain Mike got the ship pretty close. My picture is not the greatest, but you can see the penguins above playing around.
Later, we went down to the wet lab on the main deck, where the biologists were sorting through specimens they brought up last night with this big thing called a MOCNESS. All those letters stand for stuff, like Multiple Opening-Closing etc. I can’t remember what all. But it gathers samples of stuff from the ocean, mostly near the surface. Here are some pictures of Dr. Kaufmann and his helpers sorting through the samples, which are mainly salps and planktons. The middle picture is a polychete, which is sort of a sea worm with lots of legs. The bottom picture is plankton. They were alive in those dishes and wriggling all around, and the scientists let us help with the sorting. Rainy held up a big salp about half an inch from Ash’s face to scare him. Gross, but cool.
Now I just have to figure out how Strike knows what’s going to happen before it happens. !!
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