New Year's Day

Happy New Year from the IVARS team! We completed our sampling transect and deployed our two moorings on the 30th of December. The transect took the better part of 36 hours and we more or less completed it with virtually no sleep. We've worked together so many times that we are like a well-oiled machine and from our end, it seems like things went off without a hitch. After finishing up and getting about 12 hours of well-earned sleep we spent New Year's Eve cleaning up and getting ready for CORSACS sampling. Just before dinner, the ship broke into some pretty thick ice near Beaufort Island in the western Ross Sea. IVARS Group PhotoWe were all treated to penguin, whale, and seal sightings and the cameras came out in full force. After dinner, a team surveyed the ice and marked an area where we could go and play! We played Frisbee, stretched our legs, danced, and had a fantastic time while entertaining the local penguin population. All of this entertainment was fueled in part by beer and wine, which are not allowed on the ship but were provisioned ahead of time for this event. One penguin was particularly interested in our Frisbee and literally ran after it when it touched the ground—you have to really wonder what they are thinking! At the stroke of midnight, we set off flares, the ship sounded its horn, and we took our cruise photo. There is nothing quite as amazing as toasting the New Year in full sunlight with Mount Erebus as a backdrop. Some hearty (perhaps a better adjective is foolish) souls continued to brave the elements until 0600 when the ship departed for the next station location. At 0900 the science began anew, with the realization that spending New Year's Eve in such an incredible location was truly a unique way to begin the year.