Southern Ocean GasEx Blog

Dispatches from the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment

and we’re off!

Posted by sogasex on March 1, 2008

By David Ho, LDEO

After a one day delay, we departed Punta Arenas at 1900 yesterday for the study site near South Georgia Island. Considering how much uncertainty there was about status and arrival times of the various delayed shipments, including the two containers from Oregon State and NOAA/PMEL, it’s remarkable that the delay was only a day.

In the end, we decided not to wait for the last air freight shipment. Some of the items in that shipment arrived in Santiago, Chile 3 weeks ago. However, they hadn’t made the trip via truck down to Punta Arenas yet. Apparently, with this particular shipper, they consolidate enough shipments going to one destination before they load everything onto a truck, hence the long delay. Lesson learned.

Overnight, we made it out of the Strait of Magellan, and are now on the continental shelf and the territorial waters of Argentina. It’ll be another 4 days until we are at the study site (You can track our progress here). En route, various groups will start their instruments and make sure everything is functioning properly. We will continue to look at satellite images (of sea surface temperature, height, and color) to refine our study site, and we will also prepare the tracer infusion tank for injection.

The weather is still fairly nice out here, but I imagine that it will get worse as we get closer to our study site. It’s sunny, relatively calm, and the ship is not rocking and rolling too much.

This afternoon, we’ll have our safety/orientation meeting, followed by the science meeting where Chris and I will let everyone know what we’re doing out here (hopefully most of them already know).

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No matter how often one sails, the moment the gangplank come up is still one that’s awaited with anticipation

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I remember feeling both relieved and excited as the ship pulled away from the dock in Punta Arenas

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A view of our temporary home in Punta Arenas

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