Every time we go diving to collect samples for our experiments (or food for the organisms we are maintaining in our experiments) we get a little by-catch. The by-catch we get is generally very small and either some type of invertebrate or seaweed that we weren’t necessarily intending to catch. Depending on what we are collecting there is a varying abundance and diversity of our by-catch. We commonly get a wide range of sizes of snails and limpets as well as amphipods and small sea stars.

The Gould arrived in the afternoon earlier this week bringing from Chile the ever-anticipated resupply of freshies. Oh yes, that evening we dined on salad and fresh fruit off-loaded from the ship just a few short hours before all queued up to the station’s short cafeteria line. The freshies are at the end of the line so all made sure to grab a bowl or leave plenty of room on the plate for a mound of greenery.

It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to live and work in Antarctica. It is no less fantastic this sixteenth time than it was the first. The overall novelty may decline, but the appreciation of the splendor, and the sense of privilege in being here, does nothing but grow.


As a follow up to Chuck's and Maggie's descriptions of our diving operations (and as a tribute to Dio), I’m going to talk about today's dive. The weather has been fairly bad this month, more temperamental that I remember it being in April. But today we finally got to get away from station.


Sea stars, also known as starfish (this latter term is a bit of misnomer considering they are certainly not "fish"), are common sea floor animals that are found in all the world's oceans. Most have five rays or arms, but others can muster as many as twenty-five to thirty as saw my previous "Unexpected Surprises" post. Their arms are lined with legions of tiny tube-feet that operate using a unique hydraulic plumbing system that squeezes water through tubes with tiny valves that open and shut. The tube-feet serve primarily for locomotion, but also play a role in food capture and sensing prey.


Palmer Station Webcam