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Day thirteen

16 Dec 2018


What a day. The sun came out, beckoning to us to explore the surrounding islands and icebergs. Eight of us went out on a zodiac to do just that. The first mammals we saw were crabeater seals - they are the most numerous of seals globally, but are distributed only around the Antarctic continent. Their name is a misnomer: they mostly eat Antarctic krill, not crab.

Crabeater seals

We snowshoed (and some of us skied) on Amsler Island. This is also where Palmer station used to be. There is a site called Old Palmer, but there are no longer buildings there. From here you can see the mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Mountains of the Peninsula

Amsler Island and other islands have many lichen species.

Several lichen species

Our excitement of finding beautiful lichen and moss was shared by others also.

Closer examination

The mosses here are amazing. We hope to learn more about what kinds there are, so stay tuned!

Beautiful moss

Open-top chambers

Feeling refreshed after our hike/zodiac tour, we continued with our research project. Our chambers needed to be shaped into cones by attaching the ends together with wingnuts. Unfortunately, the company who made our chambers had done a poor job in drilling (and particulary, in lining up) the holes through which the wingnuts would go in (you can clearly see the misalignment in the photo below). Fortunately, Kelly is an expert with every tool, including a drill!


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