Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not-so-lazy Seals: January 2, 2012

Wednesday was a pretty routine day in McMurdo. I didn't get a ton of sleep (since I had to watch my alma mater's football team with their first postseason game since 1949), but still spent most of the afternoon hiking around McMurdo. I went out to Hut Point to check for penguins, as usual. There were no penguins today, but I did arrive just as one of the seals that was lying around actually got up and moved, and dove into the water. I didn't get my camera out in time to catch that, but I did get a photo a split-second late.

Luckily, the seal re-surfaced soon afterwards and I was able to watch it swim around for a while before it dove deeper to go eat (I assume).

Otherwise, I watched the other seals at Hut Point for a while, but none of them felt like waking up.

I then went around the Observation Hill loop again and stopped for a rest near the other place that seals tend to congregate, near the trail at the southernmost tip of Ross Island. There wasn't much excitement there, but if you sit very still you can hear the seals breathing and snoring as they nap in the sun. I also saw a skua come and land and then hang out for a while.

Otherwise, our monitoring shift has so far been unexciting. After 24+ days of flight, we're a bit less than halfway around on our second revolution, and have sent down over 32 million events. Many of those will have to be removed because of particles interacting and decaying within the instrument, but it looks like we're getting a lot of very good data down.

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