On Saturday evening, the Palmer rendezvoused with the Lawrence M. Gould, another U.S. Antarctic Program vessel, in Andvord Bay to transfer the glaciologists and their gear back to the Palmer. The glaciologists had halted their work with the Rothera-based Twin Otter and were flown to Palmer Station to meet up with the rest of the group on the Palmer via the Gould. We experienced decent flying conditions on Sunday, and the glaciologists headed out via helicopter to install a seismic station at Foyn Point and fixed a malfunctioning camera that they had previously installed at SCAR Inlet. Later in the day afforded a chance for local flying. While the helicopters conducted flights in the vicinity, the biologists continued deploying and processing mega-cores and seafloor trawls in Andvord Bay.
As of Monday morning, due to the hard work of the biologists and helpers, the biological work in Andvord Bay was completed. Overall, we collected and processed a total of three seafloor trawls and seven mega-cores as well as deployed two plankton tows and a series of CTDs and yo-yo cameras. Later on Monday, we transited through the Gerlache Strait, where we conducted a CTD en route to Barilari Bay. We targeted Bariliari Bay as an ideal location to collect a jumbo piston core (JPC).
On Tuesday morning, the leadership of Raytheon Marine Technician Ross Hein and the coordination between the bridge, science party, and the back deck led to a successful recovery of 21 m of laminated mud from the inner basin of Barilari Bay from our first JPC deployment. We also succeeded in filling in our bathymetric map of the bay, collecting another full-length JPC in the middle basin, and recovering a third but shorter JPC in the bay. While the coring took place, the National Geographic team received a unique view of the coring procedure from a zodiac boat to the starboard of the ship. Overall, the JPCs allows us to integrate a marine sedimentary record with the Site Beta ice core record, which was collected only 12 nm to the east of the bay. As of Wednesday morning, we are heading to Palmer Deep, where we will be conducting an ROV dive and CTD.
— Commentary and photos provided by Kimberly Roe '08