Antarctic Field Work, 2000

In March 2000 I flew to Punta Arenas, Chile, and sailed on a U.S. National Science Foundation ship, the  L M Gould, for four days across the Drake Passage

to arrive at Palmer Station, situated on the granite shores of glaciated Anvers Island, just off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Sitting on the glacier above Palmer Station is our pair of orthogonal VLF antennae, suspended by a 9 m tower.

Brett Pickering, Johan Booth, Jeff Bechtel, and (actually working) Heidi Geisz
There I oversaw a bunch of annual maintenance on the antenna structure, as well as a major rotation and precise GPS alignment of the antenna vertices.

The major task for my visit was to overhaul our instrumentation in the VLF hut, and to replace a good fraction of the electronics with pc computers and new software.

The beauty of Palmer Station's setting is hard to imagine. 

It wasn't until I had been there for several days that the clouds began to reveal certain of the local views of Anvers Island and the mainland.  The bottoms of the mountains came out, and the  tops ...

and on a number of occasions the tantalizing landscapes were laid out in their entirety.



For even more fun, I skied with Heidi Geisz Heidi,

slept out, bouldered ,
Will Silva
and with Will Silva top-roped a lovely faceted cliff at Old Palmer.

There is an astounding concentration of life around Palmer,

and I made many beautiful friends on my trip, including Magellanic penguins,

Minke whales,

ever-smiling female elephant seals,

giant petrel chicks,

wandering gentoo penguins,

ferocious "snake eyes" leopard seals,
Will Silva
and many wonderful people.