A Jade Iceberg in Antarctica. Image from the Australian Government Australian Antarctic Division

After my mildly hysterical email this morning, the alternate team arrived to sample the CTD with seconds to spare and we got to go to bed. So I am rested and can finish off the post I was writing yesterday…..The focus onboard the Aurora Australis has most definitely shifted to marine science, however we still have vestiges of the Commonwealth Bay celebrations and the extraordinary expedition that has been voyage 3 of the 2011/2012 season. I have just been up to the ship’s studio (also the meteorology lab or met lab) where resident artist Wendy Sharpe is continuing to capture the ever changing backdrop, the ship and all its colourful inhabitants. And what a tremendous job she is doing.

We have just been musing over her shared space where the principal language of the starboard side is colour, and the port side is algebra. While Lance figures out the atmospheric pressure systems that will influence the conditions in our path, Wendy has just been deciding how best to capture the colour of a penguin’s armpit. We think that would be a great name for a bar in Antarctica: The Penguin’s Armpit.  She insists that what Lance is doing is beyond her comprehension but I hazard a guess that Lance would say the same about her work. I happily sit in the middle, not fully understanding the process behind either, but enjoying the fruits of both their labours.

Wendy’s subject for today is a jade iceberg. I missed the excitement of this morning’s sighting as I was sound asleep. Not because I am lazy I swear, I had only gotten off shift 4 hours before. The photographs are magnificent, but unfortunately I have neither the skill to draw it, nor the ability to adequately describe it. And being the good little apprentice scientist my first impulse is to ask, but why?

Icebergs come in different forms as do expeditioners on an Antarctic voyage, yes that’s right I’ve just likened Lance and Wendy to icebergs….I think I’ve been at sea too long.