Most of the personnel on this trip refer to it as a cruise or an expedition, I think that I prefer the term adventure. My name is Conor Judge, I am an undergraduate at Central Michigan University and I am here to assist Dr. Mahon and his lab in their sampling. Though we just hit the one month point on this adventure, it has already been an amazingly informational experience. This is especially because all of this is brand new to me! So far I have flown for the first time, visited my first foreign country, and even seen the ocean for the first time. I have also been getting a crash course in marine invertebrates, which is an entirely new field for me.
All of these new experiences just bring an extra level of excitement, and it grows every day we get closer to Antarctica and our first site. Now that we are just a few days away, it is easy to tell that everyone is just as, if not more excited than I am. Until then, we will enjoy the movies, card games, and of course the corn hole tournament! Today, we finished two more matches and secured the semifinal round of the tournament. The remaining teams are the Orderly’s of Dr. Jumbles (Nick and Damien), the Crustacean Crushers (Matt and Sarah), the Ice Chips (Jess and I) and Coral & Ken. The champions will be crowned on April 1st!
I also would like to say that I am extremely grateful to Dr. Mahon for giving me this opportunity. It is not every day that you have to chance to witness some of the most remote and interesting places on Earth while helping with important research. It is also an awesome opportunity to be surrounded by so many distinguished scientists, and I will be sure to make the most out of learning from their experiences. This is an experience of a lifetime, and I hope to make the best out of it!
EDIT: While writing this we saw the Southern Lights!
Central Michigan University