The scientists of NBP 23-03 have made it to Christchurch, New Zealand! We are currently quarantining in our hotel rooms to make sure that no one picked up COVID on the way down. Everyone is taking COVID safety seriously. We took a proctored antibody test before flying out, were diligent to wear N95 or similar masks during our transit to New Zealand, and will take several more antibody tests and a PCR test before the Palmer takes off. Fortunately everyone tested negative during our testing this AM at the USAP Center!
Now folks are taking some time to relax in their hotel room, get some last minute internet-based work done before we have limited bandwidth on the ship, and enjoy their favorite kiwi delicacies including meat pies and lamb! Tomorrow we have another round of COVID testing and will receive our extreme cold weather (ECW) gear from USAP.
On Monday, March 6th we will have a live event: "Live from Antarctica: In search of worms and gooey invertebrates." This will include a tour of the ship and a Q&A about the cruise.
Stay tuned for more regular blog posts as the science gets underway. We aim to have a different person share their perspective and photos every day, internet access permitting.
Dr. Kevin Kocot
University of Alabama