Leaving Punta Arenas Photo By: Unknown January 2nd, 2008 Picture: 1 of 3 The first of four pictures today begins the journey right above the port in Punta Arenas, the capital and southern most city of Chile. This particular shot is looking down the hill towards the pier where the LM Gould is docked on the left side of the pier getting ready to depart. Slide 2 Good Luck Photo By: Unknown January 2nd, 2008 Picture: 2 of 3 This snapshot is a statue of a Patagonian native located in the town square of Punta Arenas. If you look closely, the sheen on his toe is a result of the many travelers who rub it for good luck before their journey across the Drake passage; a body of water between the southern tip of Chile, South America and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. The Drake Passage is named after the 16th century English privateer Sir Francis Drake, although he actually never sailed the Passage, opting instead for safer waters in the Strait of Magellan. Read this: Secrets of the Drake Passage Read this: Secrets of the Drake Passage by: Chuck Colgan Slide 3 Bon Voyage Photo By: Unknown January 2nd, 2008 Picture: 3 off 3 The final shot in todays series of photographs is a closer shot of the L.M. Gould at the dock before departure. As the ship sets off through the Straits of Magellan, you can see Punta Arenas, Chile in the background. Slide 4 New Years @ Sea Photo By: Unknown January 3rd, 2008 Photo: 1 of 4 Greetings! We sailed from Punta Arenas on December 30, 2007, ready to spend New Year's Eve at sea. This series of photos illustrates our travels east in the Straits of Magellan, then steaming along the east coast of the southern tip of South America to emerge into the Drake Passage, notoriously some of the most raucous seas in the seven oceans. Fortunately for us, we had a relatively lovely crossing allowing for much 2008 celebration. During the first 10 hours of our journey out of Punta Arenas, we have a Chilean pilot aboard the ship assisting our crew to carefully navigate the Straits. (1)Todays first photo shows the Chilean Pilot boat pulling away from us having safely transferred the pilot from the Gould to this shuttle vessel. Slide 5 New Years @ Sea Photo By: Unknown January 3rd, 2008 Photo: 2 of 4 This is our last look at land, the tip of the Tierra del Fuego or the Land of Fire - the southernmost tip of South America. Its named many years ago by Ferdinand Magellan who was born in Portugal, and was the first European to pass it in 1520. He often marveled at the native people wearing very little cover in this cold harsh climate and noted the many fires that could be seen at night across the barren landscape.Ferdinand Magellan1520 Slide 6 New Years @ Sea Photo By: Unknown January 3rd, 2008 Photo: 3 of 4 Commersons dolphins frolicked around our boat for hours as we traveled through the Straits. The dolphin is named for Philibert Commerson, who first described them in 1767 after he sighted them in the Strait of Magellan.Philibert Commerson1767Strait of Magellan More on Commersons Dolphins at: http://www.whale-web.com/dolphins/commerson.html Distribution of Cephalorhynchus commersonii: southern South America, including the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, and Kerguen Islands in the Indian Ocean (map mod. from Goodall 1994; Copyright: CMS / GROMS Slide 7 New Years @ Sea Photo By: Unknown January 3rd, 2008 Photo: 4 of 4 The last sunset before entering the Drake Passage. Happy New Year from the Palmer LTER!