Saturday, December 20, 2008

Photos From Kozue


Brendan looking at penguins


Paul before diving (Turtle Rock)


Jessica, seals, and skuas (Turtle Rock)


Brendan, Paul, and Jessica (Turtle Rock)


Brendan and Jessica trying to take a great picture (Turtle Rock)



Some of the penguins powdered in snow.


Someone fell in the hole.


Someone turning over in the hole


My "last" FROSTY BOY (big one)


Releasing our birds – Cass, left, and Brendan, right

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The penguins didn't leave soon.


Penguins marching to the open water


Emperor penguin...??


An Adelie penguin came close to us.


Brendan likes Adelie penguins very much.


The penguin seemed to like Brendan.


Jessica and the Adelie penguin


He seemed to need a break before diving.


Adelie manjuu. It is this shape that reminds me of a 'manjuu'.


Real manjuus


He started moving.

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Maybe fell.


An Adelie penguin walking to Cass


A photo taken before Paul left Penguin Ranch


I tried to take a picture of all the 15 penguins. (One bird is very difficult to see.)


Thank you very much


Monday, December 15, 2008

Penguin Ranch Tatts

Jessica and Cass decided that the Penguin Ranch needed its own special tattoo. They ordered a set of 1000 from their own money and gave them out to people in McMurdo Station. The “tatts” were a big hit with the other graduate students and support people.

Modeling our Penguin Ranch tatts (don't worry Mom, they are temporary)


Tatt Display_Brendan_small

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Blog Entry From Jessica

Monday night we returned our second group of birds, 5 more this time leaving only 5 in the corral.  The big storm that we had over Thanksgiving seems to have blown out a lot of the ice, so there was a very clean, stable ice edge when we arrived by helicopter near Beaufort Island. 

Barry, our pilot. Thanks for an incredible flight Barry!


Ron, the helo mechanic, resting comfortably


We were able to walk all the way out to the edge, and it was truly a spectacular sight to behold.  Adelie penguins were porpoising all around in the water, emperors were swimming around as well, and we even saw 3 snow petrels whizzing by in the air.

Cass at the ice edge with Adelie penguins behind her


Jessica with Beaufort Island in the background

Jessica at the ice edge with Beaufort Island

Kozue conquers the ice edge

Kozue conquers the ice edge

Brendan at the ice edge

Brendan at ice edge

Snow petrels are incredibly beautiful birds, and a bit more rare to see down here for us.  The release went well, and by the time we headed back to the helo, our 5 birds had figured out where the food was, and started their march toward the open water. 

Our 5 released birds head toward the ice edge, with some Adelie penguins tagging along as well!


We were all in very high spirits when we returned to greet Paul back at the Ranch, but unfortunately it was a bit sad as well, as after a goodbye toast and a bit of reflection on the season, Paul had to return to town to get ready for his flight departing the ice the next day.

Paul and I did our last dive out at the Ranch recently as well.  As you can see from the photo of Cass in the Ob Tube, the visibility has really gone downhill as the temperatures are warming up and algae (and so on through the food chain) has begun to accumulate. 

Cass in the Ob Tube


It was still a fantastic dive, as always down here, and we were graced by the presence of some our emperor penguins zipping through the water only a few feet away from us. I was quite sad before coming up, though, knowing that it was my last dive under the ice, at least for some time. 

Here’s a self portrait of Paul and me that I captured to mark that moment, thanks again to Jerry’s fabulous underwater Olympus.

“The last dive”

Token self portrait, Paul and Jessica, possibly (hopefully not!) their last dive ever under the ice . . .

It has been another spectacular season down here on the ice, and I am getting very sad knowing how soon I will be leaving, and knowing that for the first time in four years, I don’t have any definite plans to be back here soon.  Thank you so much once again to Paul and to all of the present and past Ranchers for making this a truly exceptional experience, certainly the most remarkable in my life thus far.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Unexpected Gift

(from Paul)

We received a package from Cory. I have attached pictures of the package,


seeing the SF Chronicle front page with Obama's victory,



and playing with the puzzle and the play dough.


Although Jessica and Cass often teamed up and teased and picked on poor Cory, he is still thinking of us, is part of the team, and is with us in spirit! Thanks, Cory!

I also attached a picture of Jessica with cookies from her sister - chocolate chip. They are very good. Thank you, too!


And, here’s a picture of us eating the TG food from the galley a few days later.


I am going to bed. It is late and we start early tomorrow on the last recorder.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Visit By The BBC

(from Paul)

Our visitors have left. It was a good visit. The two were Doug Allen and Hugh Miller.

Doug has been the cameraman for many BBC documentaries around the world. Doug was part of the BBC team that worked at Cape Washington a number of years ago, and he has done extensive Antarctic diving. He was the Scotsman who spoke at the McMurdo Sunday night lecture several weeks ago.

Below is a photo of Doug with his zoom lens taking close up pictures of  our penguins.


The other cameraman, Hugh, assists Doug in his filming. They both have been working with Norbert Wu on a new documentary.

Below is a photo of Kozue showing her 3D dive records to Hugh, Doug and Jessica.


I have to get ready for our experiments tonight. Cass has returned to camp. I hear the Pisten Bully pulling in.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Photos By Kozue – A Season’s Retrospective

Cass and Kozue in the ice cave.


Brendan, Jessica, and Cass at Cape Royds


Chef Brendan


Brendan releasing one of our penguins at the ice edge


Jessica releasing one of the birds


One penguin walking the wrong way