Snowy Palmer Station.

April brings dramatic changes to Palmer. The days grow rapidly shorter – literally by losing about 6 minutes of daylight each day so that breakfast is now in the dark, dinner the sun, if seen is dropping into the horizon. Winter is clearly setting in as also evident in the early morning station opening image - recent persistent snowfalls whitewashing Palmer’s rocky terrain.

graphic showing different colored lines depicting atmospheric pressure, humidity, air temperatures and wind patterns are interconnected and greatly influenced by processes in the Southern Ocean. Source Australia – State of the Environment 2016In my last blog I painted a ‘big picture’ view of the impacts of current and anticipated ocean acidification, both globally and in the icy seas surrounding Antarctica. Additional blogs by Jami and Addie described in detail our team’s experiments on the prospective biological impacts of ocean acidification being carried out at Palmer Station.

Side by side underwater images of wispy brown algae and broad flat bladed red algae; photo credit Bill Baker

A large amount of focus has been given to our main experiment this season. While this experiment is very important, I think its unfair that some of our other projects haven’t been given the attention they so rightly deserve. Well, not today! In this blog post, I will tell you all about my two palatability experiments I ran this season.

Chuck in green hat and orange coat, Hannah wearing a blue and black drysuit and red hat and Jami in orange coat and red hat smile as zodiacing away from Palmer Station, seen in background

Team UAB in A was all smiles departing station in our trusty black rubber ship under the command of Captain Chuck.  Thanks to high winds, it had been over a week since we had gotten out on and in the water.  This sunny, near windless day Hannah and I would have a very pleasant dive conducting a video transect of a local site. Below is a snatch of what we swam amongst.

One of my favorite places to be is in a boat, but when I’m not out in a Zodiac in my sea boots and bright orange Hellies and float coat, I can often be found indoors, clad in much less conspicuous garb – well, unless you count my banana print Crocs as conspicuous. Where do my flashy feet and I spend time when I’m not dive tending or helping with the experiment? See the station from my perspective in this whimsical tour of Palmer featuring my main haunts and treasured station features.

Montage of quarter- sized single shelled mollusc, limpets, both the upper surface and the undersurface with tan-colored foot, encircled by short tentacles and mouth.