Friday, November 11, 2011

Cruises are FULL of excitement

Last night we had dinner with two of the ship quiding crew: a geologist and a biologist.  We pretty much ambushed the geologist with questions regarding the subduction zone, back arc basins, transform margins, green schist facies, paleotopography, and other topics of clearly great interest to anyone.  Thus, I don't understand why the others at the table were yawning. I guess it is their loss.  We did learn that there were two native species of plants on antarctica: a grass and a flower.  There is a third species of grass that was unintentionally introduced.  Therefore, we must disinfect ourselves before going to shore and vacuum out or packs to get rid of any seeds.  We also learned about how the bird populations across the drake channel have been suffering because of the introduction of predators like cats and rabbits that eat their eggs when they are onshore places like south georgia island or patagonia.  They first tried getting rid of the cats, but then the rabbit population exploded.  Then they tried getting rid of rabbits, but like any good government program, they ran out of funds with it 95% complete.  Those 5% of remaining rabbits reproduced, well, like rabbits and back in full strength.  So we did actually learn some interesting stuff.  It will be interesting to see if the geologist now intentionally avoids us for dinner.

We had to try on rubber boots this morning for when we go to a penguin rookery.  For me they are rubber boots: if they somewhat fit I am happy.  Apparently for others this is a huge production.  I am sorry, but you cant request certain arch support in robber boots.  Just pick one and go!  One guy wat happy because his had a purple and yellow design patter on them.  I went with classic black.

We reviewed Zodiac safety this morning.  It basically consisted of: be careful getting in, hold on while it is moving, and be careful getting out.  One would think this would be a simple concept but many people asked "clarifying" questions to which the crew replied in ambiguous comments.  Oh well, they haven't lost anyone while taking them ashore...yet.

This evening we will arrive to the Shetland Islands and plan on skiing them tomorrow!


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