Wednesday 6 February 2008 à 15:22

Let the sun shine!

Par Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

We have spent an extra day at anchor to do the calibrations we were not able to do before because of the bad weather that raged yesterday and last night.

Patrice takes advantage of the good weather to pose in front of an iceberg.

Today there is good news! The sun is finally coming out and the wind is dying down. The weather is superb, if a little cool still (-3°C). We are finally able to see the Antarctic continent. We are amused by the Adelie penguins swimming and jumping around the ship. We never tire of admiring the icebergs, enormous blocks of ice that float about us. The spectacle is grand!

Adelie penguins on the ice, © Takashi Ishimaru.

We weigh anchor at 14h to move to the next station. A small boat is launched so the Japanese television crew that is with us can take pictures of the Umitaka Maru close to the icebergs.

After dinner at 18h, we get together on the rear deck for a group photo: the 29 crew members, 32 cadets and 32 scientists and students. We use the occasion to thank everyone on the ship. Their accessibility, patience and kindness have never faltered throughout the campaign!

The success of such a campaign depends basically on the ability of the ship and her crew to carry out the operations we want to conduct. We could not achieve the objectives set for the program without the involvement of the entire crew. We appreciate the assistance that everyone on the Umitaka Maru, brings to carrying out the deploying and sorting operations. No one stints in his efforts, by day or night, in sun or snow and always in the cold, so that we might work under the best conditions.

Crew and scientists on the Umitaka Maru.

Activities start up again tonight. We begin operations early in the evening. We hope to be able to complete the stations along latitude 66°15'S. This line was already sampled by the Aurora Australis and the Astrolabe for the CEAMARC program. It has also been sampled annually since 2003 by the Astrolabe for the ICOTA program.

Resuming operations in early evening.



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