Birds of the Southern Wilds

In recent days we have been seeing increasing numbers of wildlife--albatross, giant petrels (like the one in the photo) and even a sperm whale.

Thar she blows! - but I missed it :-(

There were a couple of whales sighted today, but I missed them.  Suspected Bryde's whales.  I have seen quite a few of these albatross, though, skimming the waters' edge.  I haven't seen any of them actually catching their dinner yet, but I remain hopeful. 

What? No more core to process?

After 8 days of full-out data collection, physical properties specialist Jens Gruetzner has a vague look of disbelief at actually being done.  Of course, the work is never really done - there's all the writing, analyzing, correlating, etc. that has to be done - but for now, no more core on deck for 2 more days.

The Face of Boe

I apologize to any non-Whovians - the title is a reference to the giant disembodied head that is a character in some Dr. Who episodes.  A couple of the teachers from North Kingstown, RI were nice enough to take photos of me interacting with their students - man, do I make a lot of strange faces!

Happy Birthday, Thiago!

On the ship, all birthdays are always celebrated  with delicious cake (we have a frustrated pastry chef amidst our cooking staff, I'm sure of it!)  Today was the birthday of paleontologist Thiago Pereira dos Santos, from Brazil.

Survival Suit 101

Survival suits are always amusing (at least if you're just practicing with them and don't need them for real!) - we had our initiation into them the other day.  There are four basic sizes - small, medium, large and extra large.  Those of us on the smaller end of small, however, are doomed to surviving without seeing - the zipper comes up level with our foreheads.

Coccolithophores: Earth's tiny workers (a poem)

(photos from

Coccolithophores are single-celled, marine algae

Trippin' Pipe

I was going through old files here during some down time and I found a GREAT video from a former education officer.  You can find it on youtube here!

2nd photo for blog below

Pretty little G. multicamerata foraminifera!

Expert SEM'er

I am becoming quite the expert on the scanning electron microscope (SEM) - the maneuvering of the specimen tray works a bit like an etch-a-sketch, and so long as I have a "map" of what was put on the tray, I've become a whiz at focusing, reorienting for maximum coverage, and annotating (not to mention turning the whole thing on and off, which is actually quite a lengthy process!)  Take that U

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