About Our Blog

Hi Everyone!

As most of you know, my classmate Kate and I will be sailing aboard the Maersk Peary to Antarctica this winter. We are both very excited for our trip and cannot wait to see what this adventure has in store for us. We will try to update this blog as much as possible, so check back and see what's new. Hopefully, we'll have some pictures of penguins eventually!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Headed Home

Well, I write this post from a hotel room in Ulsan, South Korea. By this time tomorrow I will be back in the United States. Kate and I disembarked from the Maersk Peary for the final time yesterday. While I am very excited to get home and see my family again, it was certainly a bittersweet experience. The ship arrived in Onsan yesterday morning, and Kate and I left the ship at 4:30PM. We had to take a launch into Ulsan, which required that our luggage be lowered over the side on a line and we climb down a pilot ladder. As you can imagine, that was a bit of an exciting experience. When we arrived in Ulsan, we had to wait for a while to get through Customs. Then of course, I had to unpack both of my bags so they could be searched. From there, we had to go to the immigration office, and then we got to our hotel. We basically dropped our bags and got in a taxi to get back into the center of town to meet up with everyone from the ship. Part of this experience of course included some Korean food, which was much more interesting than any of us expected.

In case the photo doesn't show up well, those are indeed seashells on our plate. Also not pictured are the octopus and cuttlefish that made up the rest of the dish. Well, it was not long after we ate that it came time for everyone to head back to the ship. I must say that I did not realize how difficult goodbye would be. I did not really believe them when they said that this crew would become like a second family during the trip, but it is absolutely true. I know I speak for Kate and myself when I say that we have enjoyed every minute of our time aboard the Maersk Peary. The entire crew went out of their way to make us feel welcome and feel like a part of the crew.  This trip has been a once in a lifetime experience, and I know that I have made some great new friends along the way. I just want to say thank you to everyone at Webb and at Maersk Line, Limited for making this trip possible. I especially want to thank the crew of the ship and specifically the engine department for everything they've done and everything they've taught us over the past two months. Well, I'll just finish up there because I know Kate has her own final post to write. Time to get ready to head to the airport!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quick Update

Well, I know we haven't said much for a while. Since we left Antarctica, there hasn't been a whole lot to report. Things have essentially been business as usual here aboard the Peary. But, speaking of leaving Antarctica, we did get to see some cool icebergs and some whales on our way out. (For some reason, these pictures posted themselves in backwards order, but at this point I do not have the patience to reorder them.)

So, like I said, things are business as usual around here. Kate and I have been busy with various projects around the engine room. Now that we've gotten into warmer weather again, we've been trying to do some work out on deck too. Other than that, most of our free time is filled with working on sea term projects. As of now we have less than two weeks before we arrive in Korea, and both of us still have a fair amount of work to get done before we get there. I'll be sure to post again if something out of the ordinary happens, but otherwise, this could be our last post before we arrive in Korea. Thank you to everyone who has been keeping up with the blog and following our journey around the world. That's all for now!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Antarctica Part 3

A new day begins, and the adventure starts anew. Well. when we got up this morning, all of the ice that was there when we went to sleep was gone. The wind had picked up overnight which made for a rather frigid day in Antarctica.

Today we decided we would go check out Scott Base, which is the New Zealand research base located near McMurdo. We took a shuttle there because we didn't want to waste time walking along the road where there wasn't much to see. As soon as we got to Scott Base, we got out of the van and noticed a couple of whales just offshore. We ran over, but by the time either of us could get our cameras out, the whales were gone. We waited around for a long time for them to show back up, but they never did. So, we just walked around Scott Base for a while until their store opened up.

We had been told by multiple people that the store at McMurdo was pretty awful and that we should definitely go to the one at Scott Base. They were definitely correct about that, and I think we all spent a little more than we had planned at the store. But oh well, you only come here once right?

We did manage to find another shuttle to take us back to McMurdo, and from there we just spent the rest of the day exploring the town. We ate dinner at the McMurdo cafeteria, and then I headed back to the ship to give tours. It ended up being a really enjoyable experience because I got to meet a lot of really cool people while giving tours. When the tours were over, I headed back out to Hut Point to see if there were any whales, seals or penguins hanging around. I had been told earlier that a pod of killer whales had been spotted right near the ship, but I was never able to find them. It was also very cold and windy, so I didn't hang out for a very long time over at Hut Point.

The next morning, we needed to be back at the ship at 10AM, so I got up early and went into town and had breakfast in the cafeteria with one of the AB's. After breakfast we went to the post office to drop off some mail, and then tried going out to Hut Point again. Unfortunately, there was still nothing there, so we just came back to the ship. In fact, I got back just in time to give another tour. We had to be back at the ship by 10AM for an awards ceremony. Each member of the ship's crew who had not already been to Antarctica received the Antarctica Service Medal.

When the awards ceremony was over, we all changed back into our warm clothes to go spend a little more time in the town. We had some lunch in the cafeteria, then headed up to check out the heavy machinery shop. By the time we were done with that, it was time to head back to the ship to prepare for departure.

Though we only had two and a half days in Antarctica, every minute that we were there was an unforgettable experience that I will never forget. Antarctica is a beautiful continent, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to spend time there.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Antarctica Part 2

Well, I guess I should pick up right where I left off with the last post. That brings us to day two at McMurdo Station. Our plan for the day was to get up early and take the shuttle out to Pegasus Airfield. Pegasus is an airfield with an ice runway located about 14 miles from McMurdo. When we got up that morning, small ice floes had begun to fill the area  around the ship, which was pretty cool.

We didn't get off the ship as early as we would have liked, but we made it in time to catch the 10AM shuttle. Luckily for us, there was only one other person on the shuttle, so things were pretty relaxed. The scenery on the ride out there is absolutely breathtaking.

And as if the scenery were not enough, we happened to come across two Emperor Penguins walking down the side of the road! The driver was nice enough to just stop the shuttle so that we could all get out of the van and take pictures of the penguins.

So, after we got out to the airfield, we found out that we really weren't supposed to be out there unless we were working, which we obviously weren't. Fortunately for us though, the other passenger in our van was an airplane mechanic and he was kind enough to show us around and let us climb up into one of the airplanes.

We were even able to take the same shuttle back to McMurdo.

For the trip back, we were the only passengers in the shuttle, which was really convenient when we found the same two penguins and the entire colony that they belonged to. The best part was that the two penguins we saw earlier had given up on walking and resorted to scooting themselves along the ground on their stomachs. 

So, after enjoying the scenery on the rest of the ride back to the station, we decided to grab some lunch in the station's cafeteria before we headed back out. During lunch we met up with the third engineer and the third mate from the ship, and we decided we would all go take a hike around Observation Hill in the hopes of seeing some whales or other interesting wildlife. We did not end up seeing any whales, but the scenery was spectacular and we did find some other Antarctic wildlife.

During our walk we also got to see a helicopter returning to it's base. It sure looked like they were going to drop off a gift for the Peary though...

Once we were finished with our walk, we decided to head back to the ship for a little while. The Captain had asked that at least one cadet be present on the ship from 6PM-9PM to give tours. As soon as 9:00 came around, we were back off the ship and on the move again. This time, Kate wanted to do her own thing so Kyle and I decided to hike up past Caged Mary and see how the view was from the ridge line there. That trip was completely worth getting off the ship for. 

As soon as we got off the ship, we walked up to Hut Point to begin our hike. We noticed that there were a few people hanging around, so we walked over to see what was going on. I'd say it was a pretty good thing we walked over there, or I never would have been able to capture these:

So, as you can see, we made a choice by deciding to get back off the ship. These two penguins were not at all scared of the humans, and just walked around for a while showing off for the camera. It was awesome. Once the penguins decided they were sick of us and swam out to an iceberg, Kyle and I decided to continue with our hike. The view from the top of the ridge was spectacular, especially because the sun had finally come out. 

At this point, we decided that we had better at least try to get a decent night's sleep, otherwise tomorrow could be pretty miserable. I think this post is looking a little long, so I'll stop there and start a new post for the next day! Thanks for reading and keep checking back for new stories and pictures.