Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday 19 February, Day 36

Long silence: not much to report as the geological survey of the South Sandwich Islands was progressing, and I was working hard on another paper! Nothing like being isolated at sea from everyday life tribulations, with meals prepared for you, to write those papers I have kept in the back of my head but never found the time to write yet. This one is about a new derivation of the Coriolis force (the force that makes all things moving on a rotating body drift sideways, and playing a central role in the atmospheric and oceanic movements), which sheds light on the fact that there are two slightly different contributions to it, and helps explain some counter-intuitive results in the dynamics of inertial waves (wind-generated currents that turn in circles because of the rotation of the Earth).

But I still found time to take some pictures.
Let's start with the volcano theme:

Saunders Island in the sunset, with steam rising from Mount Michael.

Montagu Island, with steam rising from Mount Belinda (hugging the crest, but hard to distinguish from clouds).

Steam rising from Bellingshausen Island caldera, the smallest of the three islands composing the Southern Thule island group. The largest of this group is Cook Island:

Now, a bit of history (source: Wikipedia):
From 1976 to 1982, Argentina maintained a naval base named Corbeta Uruguay, in the lee (southern east coast) of Thule Island (the third of the Southern Thule group). Although the British discovered the presence of the Argentine base in 1978, protested and tried to resolve the issue by diplomatic means, no effort was made to remove them by force until after the Falklands War. The base was eventually removed on June 20, 1982. Here are some remains:

And to finish, another round of iceberg shots (I can't get bored of them, they come in so many different shapes and colors!):

At last, the geological survey of the South Sandwich Islands has come to an end, and we are heading South again! In three days, we should arrive at the SASSI mooring sites, for a frantic 48 hours or so of uninterrupted work! I hope we will be able to recover all moorings... I forgot to mention that John (last year's McGuiver who made a cable from scratch to connect to an instrument) has developed in the past few days a horrible toothache, and is not in very good shape. I hope he is going to get better, otherwise the mooring recovery is going to be like hell for him!


  1. The first photo is amazing!

    Glad to see it is going well for you!


  2. Happy birthday Cedric! Today February 28th, you are 33 years old, big kisses from you Dad.