JC31: 'Ingredients' of the Southern Ocean


Cruise diary

Wednesday 4 February 2009
Location: Magellan Strait and South Atlantic (54.85°S/63.55ºW)

Steaming through the Magellan Strait

After a relaxing few days of sightseeing and preparation in Punta Arenas we left port at 9am local time on Tuesday.  Weather conditions have been perfect, making for smooth sailing all the way so far.

The Magellan Strait is a stretch of water that divides mainland South America from Tierra del Fuego.  During our passage through the strait we were escorted by various manners of wildlife including Commerson’s Dolphins (Cephalorhychus commersonii) and sporadic groups of cheeky Magellanic Penguins that kept popping up around the ship.

Fortunately nobody has succumbed to seasickness yet but with the conditions likely to worsen in the next few days as we round Cape Horn, it is likely that this may change.  In fact the only thing everyone seems to be worried about is gain lots of weight from Tulip’s (the chef) meals, which are excellent and unfortunately for our waistlines, very more-ish! Since leaving the Magellan Strait, the ship has gradually been steaming past Isla de los Estados (States Island), being rocked back and forth by a surprisingly gentle swell.  Southern Giant Petrels and Albatrosses have continuously been circling the ship, riding the updrafts from the waves and skimming the surface of the water with the tips of their wings.

Practice samples from the CTD rosette were collected on Wednesday to familiarise everyone with the correct procedures.

Heiko and Jen enjoying the sunset on the first evening at sea!  Hopefully the first of many amazing sights!

Commerson’s Dolphins were extremely difficult to photograph due to their small size and the impossibility of trying to guess where and when they would jump out of the water.

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