Daily sports photo #249

December 31 – My most “uncommon or unusual” trip.

Since the events and craziness of this year certainly have been uncommon and at times highly unusual (jeez, I certainly hope that this isn’t how things will be in the future), I thought that I would share a few photos of my most uncommon or usual trip. You may need a map for this one.

It was January 2007 and I was an investigator on the “GasEx” program. GasEx was a multiagency program to study air-sea exchange of gases (particularly CO2) in the Southern Ocean. After 21 years, this would be my last trip/cruise with NASA – I ha accepted a position as professor at East Carolina University that was to begin in August.

Why was the cruise in the Southern Ocean you ask. The answer is given by the old maritime saying:

Below 40 degrees south there is no law.
Below 50 degrees there is no god.

The Southern Ocean has the greatest ocean storms on Earth (because there are no land masses. I told you that you may need a map) and we were going to seek out these storms and do our research. Sounds crazy right?

My over 8 week trip started in New Orleans. Then my friend/co-investigator Carlos and I flew to Dallas for a long wait over and then to San Santiago, Chile. I had some meetings (and some great Chilean wine) for a few days before flying to Punta Areas, Chile to meet the ship, the R/V Ron Brown.

Punta Arenas is the southern most city in South America and is the main launching spot for folks heading to Antartica. The photo above is a major statue located in the main center park – see how everyone rubs the chief’s toe for good luck?

NOAA’s flagship – the 385′ Ron Brown. Notice how high the wheel house is above the water – we would encounter a storm where the waves crashed over the top of the wheel house.
Here I am for scale.
One of the storms that we encountered. It was impossible to capture the magnitude and power of those waves! Plus, I wasn’t suppose to be out on the weather deck.
Land Ho! South Georgia Island off Antartica.

I saw many things that I thought that I’d never see in person. Icebergs, penguins, and Albatross.

Your intrepid scientist/photographer.

After 6 weeks at sea we put into Montevideo, Uruguay where we spent several days off loading the ship. Then I took a long flight to Miami and after a very long layover I headed back to New Orleans. Let’s just say I was tired.

Until next post be safe, be kind, and Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2021 finds you safe and brings you most bodacious adventures.

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To view more of my photos please visit www.richardlmillerphotography.com.

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