Although the winter holidays aren’t quite over yet, the CONVERGE mission to Palmer Station, Antarctica, has begun. On the day after Christmas, some 32 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and students said goodbye to their families, left North America, and flew down the entire length of South America. Now we’re all at the skinny tip of the continent, in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the shores of the Strait of Magellan.
Across the water lies Tierra del Fuego; beyond it is Cape Horn; and beyond that is the Drake Passage and Antarctica. We’ll be there in about five days. Now is the time to buy last-minute supplies like sunscreen, chocolate, and seasickness medicine; to try on our Extreme Cold Weather gear to make sure it fits; and to fit all of our gear and supplies onto the ship that will take us across to Antarctica.
Read more about the preparations in our slideshow:
We’re now cruising slowly eastward through the Strait of Magellan. We’ll cross into Argentine waters and then turn south toward the Drake Passage, one of the most fearsome stretches of ocean on Earth. So far the forecast looks like fairly good weather, and the scientists are looking forward to seeing dolphins, penguins, whales, albatrosses, and other wildlife. While we’re at sea we’ll have little contact with the outside world—but we’ll transmit updates via a satellite connection to let you know how we’re doing and what we’re seeing.