Evolutionary ecology
Letters from the Southern Ocean

From Montevideo to the South Orkney Islands

Torborg's Master thesis in the Southern Ocean: Letter 6.2.2016 — From Montevideo to the South Orkney Islands

View from a vessel towards blue sea with some white wave tops
Southern Atlantic Ocean somewhere between Montevideo and the South Orkney Islands
Torborg Emmerhoff Rustand

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Day 7. I originally wrote a letter three days ago, but before I got the chance to get online we hit a storm, and so I’ve stayed in bed the majority of the time since.( Not necessarily because I’ve been feeling that ill, but moving from point A to point B without falling on my face has proven difficult.)

Anyways! I’ve just been out on deck, and I finally believe that we are actually getting closer to the South Orkneys, because I can see icebergs in the far distance! It’s been pretty strange to wake up every morning to a significant drop in temperature (and an increasing amount of albatrosses). The first couple of days I was able to sit outside in a t-shirt and read a book, whereas now I’m wearing layers of wool and a jacket, and there’s absolutely no way I could be reading a book – I can comfortably lean against the wind.

Yesterday we passed the Falkland Islands, and tomorrow we will be by the South Orkneys. There we will switch vessels from our “taxi boat” La Manche to Saga Sea. It might take a couple of days before we can start sampling, as Saga Sea, which is a krill fishing vessel, is going to offload krill meal onto La Manche first.

Final remarks – I’ve had to go off all seasickness patches and pills as they made me extremely sleepy and unable to read anything (really scary until you realize it’s a side effect). I’ve also been served the total amount of absolutely no cabbage soup (the rumor was cabbage soup for every meal, every day).

I promise next letter will be a little more scientific/ zooplankton-oriented.