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Friday, February 4, 2011

Antarctica, Landing Preparations

 

Our collective expedition excitement is building as we approach the afternoon of Day 3 on board the Ioffe.

A Bio and Zodiac briefing completes part of the requirements for us to make our Antarctic landings the first of which should occur in less than 24 hours.

Following the Zodiac briefing we all take turns heading to the “Mud Room” for our boot fitting.

Interestingly, the “Mud Room” contains a huge sonar system and is the point around which the Akademik Ioffe was built.

 

 

Akademik Ioffe Akademik Ioffe Built In Finland For The Russians

 

During the Cold War the Americans believe the ship was used for military purposes as it's sonar system could be used for tracking submarines. The Russians claimed it was used for mapping the ocean floor which in essence could be very helpful in knowing where submarines could or could not navigate.

And all I came here for was to try on a pair of boots. I sure am glad the Cold War is over.

Not sure of all the words of the song but an attempted rendition of “These boots were made for walking” makes my boot fitting exercise a bit of fun.

The “Mud Room” is point where we will make our final preparations before going outside to join the zodiac queue.

Part of our preparation is to turn our room tags on a “Tag Board” as we leave the “Mud Room” then to flip them when we get back. This has to be done individually so the crew can be sure that all passengers are accounted for especially after a landing is complete.

The last step before joining the queue is to rinse our booths, tripods or other landing equipment in a chemical solution that will minimize us taking any foreign biological substances onto the continent.

With our prep work done now it is time to be patient and hope we get to make our first landing soon. This will come at the mercy of the weather, the discretion of our Expedition Leader Lynn and with the blessing of the Captain if he thinks it is safe for us to do so.

Either way, my size 12 and a half boots are ready for walking.

 

 

 

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