Sunday, April 5, 2009

Antarctica Journal 3.14.09

Antarctica Journal 3.14.09

Back at sea. I wasn’t feeling well when I woke up. The seas were not as calm as they were coming down. I felt overheated at breakfast, then felt really cold. With 2 blankets on, I was still cold, so I asked Kathy to let Tamsin (the ship doctor) know. Tamsin checked my temperature and pulse and both were low, so she told me to take a 20-minute hot shower, bundle up and make sure I ate something for lunch. She thought the “thermostating” problem was a seasickness symptom.

The shower was an interesting experience. The water felt hot, warm, cold, hot. The ship was rocking badly, so I kept having to grab the hand rail to keep from falling. I couldn’t stand it (literally and figuratively) for the full 20 minutes, so I got out, bundled up and got back under the covers. I slept fitfully until lunchtime and carried 2 sweaters with me to the dining hall. The doors opened late, because the salad bar buffet crashed and had to be rebuilt. I had some salad and bread and ordered the chicken, but it wasn’t very good. I skipped dessert, too, because it was peach cobbler. Throughout the meal, my temperature changed several times. Sweater on, sweater on, sweater off, sweater on, sweater off, sweater off, sweater on, etc. After the announcements, I went back up and burrowed under the covers again. The ship was seriously rocking with spray coming up to the 5th floor windows at least! Every now and then, the ship would shimmy and shudder. It’s amazing the punishment it takes.

The gift shop opened at 2 for an hour, but I waited until it was nearly time for the 3pm lecture to go. Liz had recommended the Frank Hurley book, so I wanted to pick it up. Michael’s lecture was on the plight of the albatross and other sea birds.1

After his presentation, I stayed in the bar until cookie time (chocolate chunk), then went to the dining hall for Lynn’s presentation on conservation of Antarctic wildlife.2 Seems like the world has tourism to thank for getting the scientists to clean up their acts down here.

Immediately after Lynn’s lecture, I had to go back to the presentation room for our 4th camera class.3 My photos got critiqued first. I got some pretty good comments, but I don’t really believe in correcting photos, so I’ll have to take better pictures first time around next time. After class, I ran up to my room for a Coke to drink with dinner, which was rack of lamb. It was okay, but I had to send it back to be cooked more. After dinner, I started packing, then went to the presentation room to load photos into the photo journal and to copy my race day photos. I also helped some people with their photos.

Pictures from these days are available here:

1 Plight of the Albatross
• Seabird conservation in fisheries
• 30 km lines
• 10-20,000 hooks/line
• Pategonian toothfish = Chilean seabass
• Albatross attracted to offal and to baited hooks
• ≈ $20/kg
• Trawl fishing also kills birds
• Methods of protection
o Streamers on lines
o Individual weights on hooks
o Dye bait blue
o Fish at night
o Lay line below water, instead of off the deck onto the surface of the water
o Limit fishing season

2 Conservation of Antarctic Wildlife
• Lynn was a conservation geneticist
• Studied how big/small a species had to be to survive
• Conservation linked to election periods
• Species need to be able to adapt to change over time in order to survive
• Blue whales and fin whales are largest species
• Genetic variation diminishes as population size decreases
• Right whales (called that because they were the best whales to hunt) – high blubber content, pale baleen (easier to paint/dye), float when dead and migrate regularly
• Penguins okay, except where in contact with humans - no defenses

3 Camera Class 4
• Review of previous sessions
• Portraiture – background, lighting conditions, photograph in shade, no light stippling
• Fill flash
• Side light increases texture
• Lens – long lens (100mm) – portrait lens
• Posing (male/female – lengthen)
• Group photos – stagger heights, triangles are good, for families – use touching to establish connection
• polarizer

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