A Radar Station With an Oceanfront View

Sunday morning dawned clear and calm—only the second truly sunny day since we arrived at Palmer Station. It was a perfect opportunity for Dr. Josh Kohut to tick the second big item off his to-do list: a trip outside the boating limit to the team’s radar station on the Joubin Islands.

Three days ago we had zipped over to the Wauwerman Islands to do much the same thing, fighting a steady drizzle the whole way. The Joubin Islands are about the same distance west as the Wauwermans are to the south, but today’s trip was an altogether different experience, with wet grays replaced by stellar whites and sky blues. Click through the slideshow to see some of the sights photographer Chris Linder captured along the way:

Red Skies at NightSailor’s DelightSetting a Stern AnchorSpeak Softly and Carry a Big ToolboxJoubins Space NeedleBy the Light of DayStanding TallNothing but Wind and Skuas
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  1. GabZ January 26, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    Hello, I’m GabZ from Mrs. Weintraub’s 6th grade scholars class. What is the effect of temperature on Antarctic penguin’s habitat?

    • Hugh Powell January 26, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi GabZ – There are several different kinds of penguins on the Antarctic peninsula. The temperature is increasing rapidly here, and that is causing problems for Adelie penguins but seems to be making conditions better for gentoo penguins. The penguin biologists are working hard to learn the reasons why this is happening to each species. I hope this helps with your question – Hugh

  2. Dominik January 26, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Hello, I am from Mrs. Hester-fearon’s 8th period. I have noticed in the last picture you mentioned skuas. What are skuas? Is it a type of bird?

  3. Julianne January 26, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    wow, so cool ! what a great experience and such pretty pictures !

  4. Ethan (HSA) January 27, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    Its nice to see that you finally got to do what you have wanted to do.

  5. Jae January 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    Hi has the glider ever made Animals move to a different location for a long period of time?

    • Hugh Powell February 2, 2015 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Jae – Good question. Gliders don’t really have any effect on animals in the water. They move very slowly and they travel in a straight line, so the animals are typically much more mobile than the gliders. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  6. Nick January 27, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    What is your food source?

    • Hugh Powell February 2, 2015 at 11:54 am #

      Hi Nick – All the food we eat comes down from the “northern world” (the U.S. and Chile) on a ship. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  7. Cara January 27, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    The sights in Antarctica are beautiful!

  8. Elijah January 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    The pictures are very cool

  9. Kathy Cheek January 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    I cannot get the pictures to change. When I go on your webpage on the pc or on my phone I cannot see but one picture. The slide show below the big picture won’t let me choose any picture to see. I see the choices, but when I click on a picture it doesn’t change. It just stays on the same picture that pops up on the webpage initially. What can I do to show your pictures to my classroom?

    • Hugh Powell January 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

      Hi Kathy – sorry you’re having trouble. I’m not sure why the slideshow’s not working for you on multiple devices. On your PC it might be that you’re using an older browser? If you can update your browser or use a self-updating browser like Chrome then that could help. Also just make sure you are clicking on the far left of the photo to get the “next” arrow. Good luck – Hugh

  10. Naomi Weintraub January 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    What do you keep in your survival bag?

    • Hugh Powell January 31, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      Hi Naomi – Each person carries a personal survival bag each time we go out in the zodiac. In it, there is dry clothing and extra food. There’s also one bag for each zodiac that contains a tent, sleeping bag, camp stove, and fuel. In addition, we placed a survival bag in the radar station that contained water, survival food, and a sleeping bag in case a ship has trouble in the area and someone comes ashore here in an emergency. Thanks for asking – Hugh

  11. Naomi Weintraub January 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

    Did the broken power relay have any effect on the data you were collecting?

    • Hugh Powell January 31, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

      Hi Naomi, Fortunately not. The power relay didn’t run the data collection directly. It ran the power management system that keeps the batteries charged. Although it broke, there was another similar part that also charged the system’s batteries, so the instruments that collected the data were still able to work. The fix restored the system to full functioning and means there’s less of a chance of another breakdown in the next year. Thanks for asking – Hugh