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Stan Treanor, Physics and Computer Science teacher from Merkel High School, Merkel, Texas, was invited by UTIG Chief Scientists to participate in an NSF sponsored expedition as a science party member aboard the R.V. Nathaniel B. Palmer.  To document his experiences, Stan sends frequent electronic journal entries and photographs from the field.  Stan is also a videographer and often mentions the "filming" he is doing for a video documentary of the expedition.  


Location:  60.8381 degrees West, 62.3175 degrees South at  15:25 Z  hrs, 27 April 2000.



The morning of April 27 at 03:48 Z, we had deployed the first seven OBSs of line #5.  We then turned SW along the southern side of Livingston Island with the Seabeam sonar scanning. We’re transiting around Snow and Livingston islands while continuing to scan.



Everyone seems in good sprits today. Barney and his men have spent 30-man hours doing maintenance on the gun array. The time was spent taping, to prevent chafing when the guns "kick”, replacing an air hose, and modifying the chains on which gun #1 hangs, to limit movement.


There seems to be a joke developing regarding my navigational skills onboard this ship.  Every time I leave the dry lab heading for the Galley, I turn in the wrong direction. The same is true when I leave my cabin upstairs. It’s frustrating. It may be old age getting a firmer grip. No one else seems to have the problem. I used to consider myself quite a good navigator…being a pilot with the ability to point out my wife’s smallest navigation error by not taking the “great circle” route through and about Abilene.


Have you ever wondered how you navigate? Does it work in the same way for your spouse as for you?  Science has studied how birds and whales navigate, but never a word about our spouses. My system is based on the Sun, shadows, moon, and stars. My wife’s is based on little iron particles in her brain that become oriented along the Earth’s magnetic field. This doesn’t work well in downtown Dallas or Ft. Worth because of the magnetic interference from all the computers in the skyscrapers. I can still rely on the shadows in the day or stars and moonlight at night. Around the malls, on the other hand, where the buildings and electronics are less intrusive, she does very well.


It so happens when I make one of these navigational errors on board ship, Jim Holik is waiting at the end of the hall (the wrong end), arms folded in a very authoritative manner and with a big grin on his face and he asks “Stan, where are you going?” I know immediately I’ve screwed up and I get this dumb look on my face. I just can’t help turning the wrong way...and he awaits my folly at mealtime. There was a fellow called “Wrong Way Corrigan” in the early days of aviation. He took off from New York City heading for California and ended up in Europe. There was a cloud overcast that day and once over the clouds he became disoriented and headed in the wrong direction.  I’m feeling a little like Corrigan.



Ian Dalziel, tells me about the Scotia Arc. In the picture, Ian is standing in front of a map showing where the Scotia Arc extends from the tip of South America and Peninsula of Antarctica to form a loop extending eastward.   The Arc’s name originated at the beginning of this century, when a Scottish Antarctica expedition, between 1904-1906, discovered the ridge in a ship named the Scotia. As was the custom at that time, the expedition named their discovery after their ship. Because of the relative westward movement of South America relative to the Antarctic continent,  the South Georgia Islands, 1500 statute miles east of Cape Horn, were left behind after once being attached  to the end of South America. The southern section of the Scotia Arc, where the Orkney Islands are now located, was once apart of the Peninsula of Antarctica.  And the Drake Passage is the result of an extension or spreading out of a basin between South America and Antarctica.


Stan Treanor





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16 June 2003