This Is Life at 64 Degrees South

We’re still trying to get to the Wauwerman Islands to do some work on the radar station there, but once again today the weather did not quite cooperate. In the meantime, life goes on at the station. Boats go in and out of the water; radios crackle with check-ins and location updates; people gather in the galley for hot, home-cooked meals.

Palmer Station operates like a small town or a big family. There’s lots of science work to do, and plenty of possibilities for fun in between the work. The 44 people here work together to get things done and then get together in groups for games, projects, hikes, music, and more—or set off with a radio and some snowshoes for some solitude on a glacier hike. Click through the slideshow for more scenes of life as usual on Palmer Station:

A Thousand Miles From NowhereWhat’s for Lunch?A Place to Lay Your HeadService and RepairEverybody Pitches InNo Party Like a Zodiac Tea PartyThe House of the Rising SunBig Tent

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26 Comments

  1. Daniel January 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    I would love to that for a week or so, it looks cool

  2. Dominik January 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    Wow! I never knew there would be so much to do besides research in Antarctica. What else do you scientists do for fun at Palmer Station?

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      Hi Dominik, the scientists also play cards, sing songs, do needlework or crochet, play ping pong and pool, watch movies, work out, cook special meals, bake cookies, and play video games. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  3. Sarah January 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Is the place you stay in at Palmer Station heated?

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

      Hi Sarah – Yes, the buildings at Palmer Station are heated to a comfortable temperature—except on rare occasions like last week when the heating broke for a couple of days! Thanks for asking – Hugh

  4. Steven T January 22, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    Hi my name is Steven T and I am from Mrs.Hesterfearon class, period 8. While I was reading the section “What’s for Lunch?”, I was wondering where and how do you guys get your foods? Do they send like supplies every once or a while or do you catch fishes on the sea and use them for food?

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

      Hi Steven – All our food comes down from South America with the ship that supplies Palmer Station – either on the same voyage that we arrived on, or left over from previous voyages. We don’t catch fish here, because it’s a pristine area and we don’t want to affect the ecosystem that we’re trying to study. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  5. Helder January 22, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

    Hello i am in Mrs. Hester-Fearon’s eighth grade class. I was going through the pictures and stumbled upon the one of Dr. Kim Benard restocking supplies. I would like to know what would happen if you ran out of supplies. I would also like to know if it is easy to get supplies.I have been enjoying project converge,thank you and be safe.

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

      Hi Helder – If we ran out of supplies we’d have to get creative to make a replacement, or we’d have to do without. The only way we can get supplies is when a ship comes to visit bearing a load of goods from South America. Once that supply is used up, we have to wait for another ship to arrive. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  6. Evan from HAS January 22, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    Do you bring your food from the land you went from? It isn’t like you can fish in the Antartic.

  7. Ms. Dunbar January 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I feel like I’m there ~ thank you for the wonderful pictures and captions that really help me understand what it’s like. My class is over the moon for today’s webcast ~ fingers crossed it will all go well.

  8. Lasya January 23, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Hello! I just read your blog and saw the pictures. I first thought you would always have work to do, and that you might have been bored , but I was wrong! It looks pretty lively down there, and it looks like you have a lot of fun! Good luck with your research!!!

  9. Jared January 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    How cold is it there at night?

    • Hugh Powell January 24, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      Hi Jared – the coldest it has gotten here at night while we’ve been here has been the high 20s. It doesn’t get too cold at night because it’s never dark for very long. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  10. Katie Pickett January 24, 2015 at 3:53 am #

    Glad to hear you are keeping up on the NYT crossword puzzle!

  11. Collin January 25, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    Do you ever resupply if sort of anything? If so, do you go to other islands for support? Than you you could get vegetables.

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

      Hi Collin – the only way we can get resupplied is when ships come down carrying goods. There are no stores on the other islands, and there’s no airstrip for planes to land on. The people who run Palmer Station have a schedule of ships that are coming to visit—most often it is the Laurence M. Gould, the U.S. research ship that brought us here—and they can place orders, but they only come a handful of times per year. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  12. Maria Stoupakis January 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Isnt it too cold for Palmer station to work as a small town or big family?

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Maria – It’s not very cold outside right now (about freezing). In the winter, it gets a lot colder but the main buildings at Palmer Station stay nice and warm. So Palmer Station is still a comfortable place for a small number of people to live and work together. – Hugh

  13. Christopher January 26, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Is it warm in Palmer Station?

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Christopher – It’s probably warmer here than it is near you right now. The temperature drops below freezing every once in a while, but today it was warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit while the sun was out. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  14. Lukas from hsa January 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    What is the hardest part about living there?

    • Hugh Powell February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

      Hi Lukas – I think pretty much everyone you ask down here will say the hardest part is being away from our families. It’s a great experience to be here, but we look forward to getting home, too. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  15. annette January 28, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    What kind of supply’s do you restock up on at palmer station?

    • Hugh Powell February 2, 2015 at 11:31 am #

      Hi Annette – the most thing that everyone looks forward to when a ship arrives at Palmer Station from the north is fresh vegetables. Nothing is grown here at Palmer, so a green salad is a pretty rare occurrence. Thanks for asking – Hugh

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