We are now three days into our transit down to Antarctica. The highlight of the second day was the obligatory boat drill. After we had a briefing from the captain on the first day, we used this drill to identify the location of our life boats and escape routes. We all had to come equipped with our life vests and hard heads, and had to then try on our survival suites. These gumby suites are water proof and float in water – they may safe our lives for a considerable amount of time if we ever have to abandon the ship.
Today at 10:30am we left port. All scientist and many of the technicians and the ship’s crew were on top of the bridge to watch the departure. It was a sunny day, and two little boats towed us until we were far enough away from land that the ship could be turned to face the open sea.
We left Aotea Quay,Wellington, under blue sky. For the next couple of days we will be sailing along the eastside of New Zealand. Since weather and ice observations will be key to our expedition (some of the sites we want to drill are still covered by seaice), we have two experts on board, Kjell and Diego, who watch out for weather and ice conditions at any time and inform the ship’s crew and the scientists.