Eltanin Cruises with Mary Alice McWhinnie

big boat


Cruise 6

Eltanin left Valparaiso, Chile, on November 24, 1962, to begin Cruise 6. The first part of this cruise was conducted in the northern part of Drake Passage and its main portion, between 56W. and 59W. Considerable work was done in Bransfield Strait and stops were made at Deception Island. The farthest south position reached was near 6416's. at 6259'W. The cruise ended at Punta Arenas on January 23, 1963.

One interesting aspect of Cruise 6 was that, for the first time, women scientists were accommodated aboard. The pioneers were two marine biologists from DePaul University, who stayed on for Cruise 7, at which time they were joined by two women colleagues from the University of Chile. Once the precedent had been established, female investigators aboard Eltanin were to become the rule rather than the exception.

The number of specimens collected is indicated by the 126 sample collections of the University of Southern California's marine biological project that were preserved for shipment to the United States. Representing 400 gallons of material, these collections included, among other organisms, 1,000 specimens of bottom fishes.

Cruise 7

Cruise 7 took place between February 4 and March 19, 1963. Twenty-six major scientific stations were occupied, including two near the Antarctic Circle in the Weddell Sea. Searches made south of the South Orkney Islands for the Barth and Trctten Banks, were unsuccessful, but an excellent sediment profile was obtained on the southern flank of the Scotia Ridge. At the end of the cruise, the ship docked at Montevideo, Uruguay, for resupply. On invitation and as part of a bilateral exchange program, a U.S.S.R. oceanographer, N. F. Kudriavtsev, participated in Cruises 7 and 8. His specific research project was a study of the conditions under which water layers of different densities form, as related to the vertical structure of the current patterns.

Cruise descriptions from the Antarctic Journal,, July/August 1966. Photo from the May/June 1973 issue. Note that the article does not mention the names of the woman investigators.