Today was a day for last minute purchases in Punta Arenas and for meeting our boat. After we were issued the parkas, raingear and other clothing the the US Antarctic Program issues all participants, we boarded the R/V Laurence M. Gould. At 230 feet long, the Gould is a big red boat. She has double hulls and is strengthened to travel through ice. Her primary task, apart from supplying Palmer station, is transporting scientists on month-long scientific fishing cruises through the Southern Ocean.
Aboard we tried out the life boats and were assigned our cabins. My cabin, shared with Kelly, is on the starboard side, closest to the bow. This is a great location if the seas are calm but could be uncomfortable if the seas are big. We haven't heard anything from the captain on the weather yet but 30-60 foot seas are typical across the Drake Passage.