Life Onboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer
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Once you are on board and the ship is underway it is wise to take a walk around the ship to get familiar with all exits, your emergency muster station, and the best way to get to your work areas. Visits to the Engine Room are welcome, but it is best to coordinate this with the chief engineer or one of the Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) crew for safety's sake.

NBP Bunk
An NBP Bunk

Living arrangements on the NBP are comfortable, and consist of two bunks, a head and a shower. The Chief Scientist and Marine Projects Coordinator (MPC) cabins have dayrooms as well as the sleeping compartment. All cabins are equipped with a TV/VCR, stereo, telephone and a LAN jack for connection to the network. This network access includes the ability to connect to the ship's primary data acquisition computer system for viewing and logging data. With the exception of the Chief Scientist cabin on the 03, most grantee and all ASC berthing is on the 01 Deck, which is on the same level as the Sauna and Gym. Laundry facilities are provided on each level. Please use the laundry on the same floor as your room.

The NBP 02 Lounge
The NBP 02 Lounge

The 02 Lounge is open 24 hours a day for everyone's use and is stocked with more than 150 movies. A small book library is also housed in the 03 Conference Room for all to use, but please return any borrowed book right after you have finished reading it. This is a donation-only library, so feel free to leave any books aboard that will lighten the load on the way home. They will be greatly appreciated. The Conference Room also has a TV and VCR which is open for use to all as well. Another lounge is available on the 04 Level. Please consider this a last resort if the other movie areas are busy, and ask the mate on watch for permission first as ECO sometimes uses this area for training and other meetings.

The NBP Workout Room
The NBP Workout Room

The NBP's Workout Room is equipped for both weight and endurance training. A universal weight machine, treadmill, rowing machine and exercise bike occupy the weight room. Just across the passageway is a sauna for relaxing after a hard day's work or workout. This area is open 24 hours a day as well, but please keep the volume down on both your voice and the stereo as there are people sleeping 24 hours a day on the 01 Level.

The NBP Mess Hall
The NBP Mess Hall

The Mess Hall is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is located all the way forward on the starboard side of the Main Deck. Please refrain from wearing greasy or dirty work clothes in the Mess. Edison Chouest provides vegetarian meals upon request. If you have special dietary interests or needs, please contact the MPC to see if they can be accommodated.

Meals are served at the following times:

  • 7:30-8:30 AM Breakfast
  • 11:30 AM-12:30 PM Lunch
  • 5:30-6:30 PM Dinner
  • 7:30-8:30 PM Late Dinner
  • 11:30 PM-12:30 AM Midnight Rations

For the snack food junkies: Plan to visit the grocery store, either the Cofrima if in Punta Arenas, Chile or the Super Value if in Lyttelton, New Zealand, just before sailing. Snacks, like chocolate, toffee or your favorite health food makes the ship feel more like home. These types of foods are not served in the galley, and satisfying a junk food (or health food) craving helps make your time at sea more enjoyable.

General use laundry equipment is provided on each deck forward of the main ladderway. Soap and bleach are provided. Please observe good laundry etiquette and transfer clothes in the washing machine into the dryer if one is available. If not, place it on top of the dryer. The people removing their dry laundry can then put in the next load. There are a limited number of washers and this helps speed up the process. Remember that it's best not to do laundry in seas greater than 15 feet. Much like the people on board, the machines tend to shut down if the seas get too rough. Clean linen is available from the ship's supply and includes blankets, sheets and pillowcases.

While People Sleep

Finally, please remember to think of your shipmates when walking the passageways of the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer. All members of the crew, including ECO, ASC and grantees work around the clock shifts, so someone is always "in their rack." Keeping passageway conversations at a minimum makes everyone's days at sea more agreeable.

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Tim McGovern/Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs