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Evolutionary ecology
Letters from the Southern Ocean

Southern Ocean: offloading by Signy Island

Torborg's Master thesis in the Southern Ocean: Letter 26.2.2016 — Signy Island

A fur seal swimming in blue ocean
I was lucky to see a couple of Antarctic fur seals.
Photo:
Liam Quinn (Canada)/Wikimedia Commonns

Day 27. We’re now well on our way back to Montevideo on La Manche, along with quite a few tonnes of krill meal (not for us) and some zooplankton samples. Since we got on board Monday afternoon, it’s gotten quite a bit warmer and the sea (finally) seems a bit calmer after a few stormy days. (On the up side this made meal times more interesting, trying to keep my chair from sliding across the floor while holding onto my coffee mug, bowl of soup etc., etc.)

Anyways, I was going to write a little bit about the last day offloading by Signy Island. This was by far the most beautiful day by the South Orkneys, and the light was so intense I really regretted not bringing any sunglasses. The view of the glaciers, the icebergs, the steep mountains and the blue sky was quite magical. I hope some of the pictures I will put up once I get proper online access will do it some justice, but I’m not so sure it can. We were also fortunate enough to be able to go out in a small boat to get closer to land, and I’m so happy we did because there was quite a difference between seeing the icebergs (and everything else) from the ship and passing them close by.  We also saw a couple of Antarctic fur seals before having to turn around – there was suddenly loads of drift ice all around, and it was impossible to keep going. After that adventure I packed up my room - the hospital - (benefits of being  one of the few girls on the ship and having to get your own bathroom), and said goodbye before being hoisted over to La Manche in what is referred to as the monkey-cage. I’ll see if I can find a picture of that as well later on.

—Torborg