Friday February 04, Hilke (IMCOAST diploma student) and I left for our next campaign to King George Island.
This time our route was a stopover in Madrid and Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas, the southern tip of Chile. This way we would be able to board the research vessel Polarstern which will drop us off in Jubany. Our departure from Germany was accompanied by fizzle rain and a wet cold that gets underneath every sheet of clothing; a weather very common to the Rhineland. The next stopover in Madrid we barely recognized besides long walks to one end of the airport (to get through security check) and back to the other end (to get back to the gate we left), and finally we arrived in Santiago 30 degree and sunny. We spent some one or two hours just enjoying the sun in the otherwise very unappealing surroundings of an international airport. But the sun made up for everything and we just stood enjoying and watching the planes' departure or landing.
The flight to the Southern end of Chile was very remarkable by the different shaping of landscape and the gradual changing, but dramatic landscape. We flew by salty deserts and smoking volcanoes, agriculture landscape mosaics, glacier tongues and fiords in heavy covers of clouds. I hope some of the pictures we took from out of the planes' window will show.
The arrival in Punta Arenas was pretty smooth and we had a nice sunny Sunday to get a little accustomed to the Southern summer, the long days and the different environment. It still feels very strange though...
Tomorrow we will go on board the Polarstern and again everything will change on our way towards our destination, the Antarctic research station Jubany. We are already looking forward to meeting friends and colleagues but also to work some more on our stations and do some improvements.