Wednesday, 26 September 2012

SIPEX-II Update, from 22 September 2012

We've received the latest news from Molly aboard the Aurora Australis! For those keen to keep extra tabs on the ship's journey - and you have an iPhone or iPad - head on over to the App Store and search 'Antarctic Voyages'.

The free app provides a track of the ship along with a new webcam from the bridge every half hour.  You'll also be able to view daily sitreps and the information from fixed sensors that gives the underway data sets.  All information comes from the Australian Antarctic Division.

22nd Sep, Day Eight
We are crossing the line!! 60 degrees SOUTH!
Day eight is a big day, since it’s the crossing-line day and
Saturday. We are having so much exciting stuff happening in one day.
Event one – the 60-degrees baptism! As part of cultural tradition on
the Aurora, when the ship crosses the 60-degree-south line, all the
freshmen are demanded to attend a special baptism as a ceremony. As
the famous ancient saying about Southern Ocean - “No laws below 50S.
No police below 60S.” reveals, the sea gets severely angry when the
sailors cross certain lines. In old times, it must have been a huge
thing for the crews travelling with wooden boats to survive after a
long voyage. Anyway, it’s not the case in a modern voyage. Until
today, we are all surviving really well with the amazing buffet and
facilities on the Aurora. 
Our wonderful and incredible crew have new ideas every voyage to
“torture” the new recruits for an afternoon-tea entertainment for the
entire ship. This year, the ceremony involved worshipping the blue
pirate king and his colourful fellows. Names were announced by the
Death, we then knelt down and kissed the king’s foot, drank some
special blue beverage, kissed the king’s fellow - a blue giant fish,
and last, were showered with a yellowish porridge-like mixture with
unknown ingredients (somehow it had a strong coffee and chickpea

Event two – Assassins
To celebrate the “Law-free” zone, we started a killing game, the aim
is to kill all your shipmates and stay alive alone.
Rules of Assassins
You don’t talk about Assassins.
You don’t talk about Assassins. 
You DO NOT talk about Assassins! 
Very simple, put your name in a bag, and pick a name from there, and
“kill” the person on the ship by saying “bang you’re dead” (anywhere
apart from his/her working place or cabin).
Event three – First beer on the ship
Since the Aurora is now a “dry ship”, we can only have limited
alcohol on special occasions. Today as we reached the special
latitude, it was a good excuse to have one or two beers to celebrate
with some very nice Italian food, good pizza and Tiramisu for
Event Four – First Iceberg
As part of the social committee on board, Jess MT started an Iceberg
sweep – to guess what day and what time we will pass by our first
iceberg. The rules are very strict. We have the ship radar to
identify the iceberg and to time the occasion when we pass by it at
90 degrees from the boat’s direction. It happened tonight! 18:45, we
sighted our first iceberg on the port side of the boat, about 4 miles
away. A nice small berg with two peaks. Murray Dovey (Ship master)
defeated Klaus (our chief scientist) by 15 mins to take out the
sweep. Klaus was even thinking to stop the ship to win the game ?   
Stay tuned for photos!
Don't forget to check out the official SIPEX-II website from Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems 
Cooperative Research Centre and the blog of Dr Wendy Pyper from the AAD. 

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