Monday, November 12, 2007

The Jump

Today I joined the group jumping into Arthur Bay as a way to thank the crew of the Laurence M Gould for resupplying the station. I'm glad there weren't any leopard seals in the vacinity because I look a little too much like a penguin!

There is ice floating in the water, and the temperature stays pretty steady at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Zee, who works on station, described it best. "It's like jumping into a glass of ice water." If anyone is curious what it feels like, you can fill a small basin with water and ice and put your hand in it.

Most people can withstand the cold for about 10 or 15 minutes before hypothermia sets in. If you would like to see more pictures of the jumpers, I have posted a few to the photo album on

Penguins are so well adapted to the climate that they have smooth skin on the inside of their wings so that they can vent air when they get too hot from zipping around the water chasing krill. (BTW...Troy and Morgan asked some good questions about these topics, and I have published a partial reply to the 10 November post.

I have to follow up on the question about krill to make sure that I have the right information.


Anonymous said...

Totally cool, Kate. We're all there with you. And putting my hand in ice water? Painful!

Mary Grubbs said...

Brrrrrrr... You mentioned ice floating in the water. Looking at the Palmer Station Cam this afternoon, it appears that the amount of floating ice increased significantly from earlier. What causes this? Does it happen frequently? Mary

Susan said...

Hi Kath--
It's great to read your postings. NSF chose well--I can see you'll use this experience well in your writing. I especially liked the way you described the passage about the Lemaire Channel. You rock!!