From December 2016 to January 2017 I participated on a trip to Antarctica on board the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis. The main goal of the voyage was the resupply and refueling of Casey station. This involved pumping over 1 million of liters of Diesel from the ship into the station. Quite obviously this was a pretty involved operation. As I had fairly little to do with this, during the daytime, I helped out the krill scientists to build an aquarium. At nighttime, whenever possible, we tried to calibrate the acoustic equipment. This mainly meant for me steering it all from the ‘comfort’ of the instrument room, overviewing the operation and giving instructions to the brave crew, scientists and technical support willing enough to help me out, facing the Antarctic cold until four in the morning, manoeuvring a 38.1mm tungsten-carbide sphere underneath a 90 m vessel. In the end, it was all successful (except for the 200 kHz, which appeared to be broken). After this was done, I could look at the rest of the voyage in a more relaxed fashion as my main responsibility was completed. Main tasks now were just looking for krill on the echograms and occasionally assisting the hydrographic people looking for suitable sampling station locations. Surprisingly this apparently lead to me discovering a new canyon.
As to be expected, there were a lot of rather spectacular landscapes and animal activities to be observed. Here some of the best pictures I managed to take.
Ice, ice and more ice, penguins, skuas, petrels, seals, glaciers, sun, clouds and icebergs