Sunday, November 11, 2012

South Base Take Two

Back at South Base to check up on some seals as part of one of our surveys, making sure they're all tagged (which they weren't...there were 4 new pups along with 2 adults that needed tagged) and accounted for.
Weddell seal photos taken under NMFS Permit No. 17236
That's me scribbling down mom's tag numbers, and pup's tag numbers and sex.  Photo credit to Jessica Farrer.
Poking about.  Photo credit to Jess Farrer
An atypical lunch (usually we are outside in the elements) inside the Turtle Rock hut, on our way out from South Base.  Our feet are dangling above a large hole drilled into the ice for diver access.  The tube down the center has a fan blowing warm air down onto the surface of the water to keep the hole from freezing up again.  
Lightly dusted mom and pup

"Hmm...what should I do after this?"

3 comments:

  1. Jesse, we love the pictures of the seal,pups and what it is like in Antarctica. We are wondering - who does the diving, and what are they looking for? Do you know any of those crazy divers? We can't imagine having to do that! Also I appreciate it when you use hard words like "atypical" building vocabulary is awesome!

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    1. Hey Mark and Students!

      The crazy divers are a bit crazy, I've met a few of them. To be a diver here, you have to be willing to let your face go completely numb from the cold (because the skin on their face is the only thing exposed!)! It is very cold under the water, but it is so incredible below the ice that the divers keep diving in! The divers do all sorts of things...often a research group will ask for a diver for help. For example, the sea urchin research team uses divers to collect sea urchins from the sea floor. Or another weddell seal research team uses divers to get video and photography of seals under the ice. Or a geology research time might want a diver to collect sediment on the floor of the ocean.

      This looks like a cool video of one of the crazy divers (though I haven't watched the full video!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7gkPLTnAQs

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    2. That video is perfect! Thanks! We will watch about 4 minutes of it.

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