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Click here to show Kapitan Khlebnikov's route in Google Maps. (Or Google Earth)
Ship's Position at 12:00:
  • 38°04.7' S 109°45.5' E
  • Course 37°; Speed 11.5 kts
  • Air temperature 15°C; Water 15°C; Wind 16 kts; Direction 230°
  • Weather: Cloudy; Visibility 6
  • Distance covered past 24 hours: 334.5 nautical miles

Woke this morning to find the ship lolling slowly along at 7.5 kts, bright sun on the sea. Although it has become technically cloudy, the clouds are a thin grey-and-white wash and patches of pale blue are visible, so it's really a fine day. Everyone, me included, is getting their portholes re-opened. The fresh air is very pleasant as long as the wind doesn't switch around to come from the stern. The garbage is stowed below the helicopter deck, at the stern down on Deck 3, and as soon as it began thawing, it began ripening! (I wonder what they'll do with it: it includes both organic and recyclable materials and Australia has very strict rules on what's allowed to be brought in. Incineration?)

The wind was low when I went up to the bridge to look around, after 09:00, and the early-morning albatrosses had mostly fallen off. An Arctic tern, for reasons of its own, glided around the ship again and again just above the waves; terns do their own fishing, not scavenging from fishing boats as other seabirds do, so it wasn't following us for a handout. An albatross appeared, however, and tried to make a go of it on the weak wind for a long time; once, it landed in the waves for a rest, and I could see clearly the huge fee spreading to slow the bird down for landing. I think this was a yellow-nosed albatross. Apart from the usual mixed bag of petrels, nothing.

The morning lectures on the Southern Ocean and aurorae were excellent — it's too bad we didn't have the aurora lecture a few days ago, though!

The expedition staff are winding things up now, putting everything in storage until the next season in the Arctic. The ship will stay just long enough in Fremantle to disembark passengers and staff and take on fuel and probably water. Then it sets out for Vladivostok, probably at full tilt.


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July 2008

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