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A Different Christmas
Student Journal by Kevin Peters
Posted on 12/28/2001 at 12:30 p.m.
 Kevin Peters, expedition team member and graduate student from the UAB Department of Biology. Photo by James McClintock.
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Hello to everyone for one last time! Yes, this is going to be my last entry due to the fact that I am on my way home and have classes starting in a couple of days. I would like everyone to know just what Christmas is like aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould.

Well, Christmas is still December 25th down here even though it falls at the beginning of summer. Not much was going on the night before, other than more movie watching. I watched some holiday movies like Cast Away and Die Hard 2 before I finally decided it was time to go to bed.

The TV room on the RV Laurence M. Gould features a big screen TV, DVD player, VCR, surround sound stereo, four couches, and a collection of DVDs and videocassettes. Photo by Kevin Peters.
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I decided to sleep in on Christmas morning since I had told Santa to go ahead and take my gifts to my parents house so that he wouldn't have to wander all over the Drake Passage looking for the ship. I thought that was the least I could do.

When I woke up in the early part of the afternoon, most of the ship's occupants had already been up for several hours, but I was WELL rested. The rest of the ship enjoyed their traditional Christmas "dinner" at noon since that was when most of the ship was up either coming off watch or about to get on watch. They had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. I was in bed, but Chuck and Jim said that it was a good meal and everyone seemed to have a good time.

 The galley area on the RV Laurence M. Gould. Photo by Kevin Peters.
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We did watch a traditional Christmas movie in the lounge that day — It's a Wonderful Life. That is one movie that I seem to always watch on Christmas, so it was a little like being at home. The only difference was that when I am at home watching it, I never have to worry about getting thrown out of my seat due to a large wave hitting the house.

After the movie, Deneb gave me a small package that Maggie had given her. It was my first Christmas gift of the day and it was a pair of socks with UAB's mascot, a dragon, on them. It was nice to have that gift to open.

Dinner was not the large feast that I usually enjoy with family around the table. I knew that in a couple of hours my mom, dad, brother, and sister would be sitting around the table eating their traditional Christmas lobsters. Instead, I was having barbecue spare-ribs and gumbo ... but they were very good ribs!

After dinner, I went back to the lounge to watch some more movies, as did many of the other people on board. Some of the people (e.g. Chuck, Jim, and Bill) actually did some work on their computers while I was watching the movies (I did not think that would be as much fun).

After more movies, people gradually dispersed to go to their cabins and I remained in the lounge until the wee hours of the morning watching more movies, and getting tossed around by more waves.

Maggie's Journal: To Everything Its Place
Maggie's Journal: Wrapping Up at Palmer Station
Maggie's Journal: Happy Belated New Year
Jim's Journal: Antarctic Science Snowballs
Maggie's Journal: Christmas in Antarctica
Chuck's Journal: Home Alone
Student Journal: A Different Christmas

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"Our ship cut through the twelve-foot waves and fifty-knot winds of the midnight Drake Passage, bucking hard, first to the right and then the left, coupling these sideways motions with wave-generated surges of movement up and down."
- James McClintock, Ph.D.

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