1 February, 1998
Today started out early for our group with a CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Density) cast. Not long after that, we had another CTD cast and I wasn't through with running the dissolved oxygen titrations for the first cast! What a busy day it looked to be. Then, some of the problems that had plagued us at the beginning of the cruise reared their ugly heads again -- the pressure sensors on the plankton nets that indicate the depth at which the nets were operating stopped working. We spent most of the day at the second site trying to get the sensors fixed. It is now 6:15 PM and the decision was made to go on to the third site, all the while the repairs crews will be working on the net sensor cable so perhaps the nets will be able to get data there also. After that we will return to the second site and try to get the plankton data missed. Those of you plotting the grid pattern of the boat's course should notice that we are backtracking tonight. It ended up being a restful day, but the evening and night will now be busy. There are no set schedules here, only planned ones. And plans oft go astray....
I had an opportunity to talk with another volunteer, Barbara Boczar,of Davis California. Barbara went to University of California Santa Barbara where she got her doctorate in Marine Biology with an emphasis on biochemistry. Instead of being content with that, she went to law school and now specializes in environmental and patent law. She did research at McMurdo while working on her post-doctorate and now volunteers whenever she can to work down here. According to Barbara, most large companies are trying to comply with environmental and safety laws. Someone needs to advise them on what they should do. That is where her job fits in. With her science background, Barbara has the depth of knowledge in both science and law to accurately assess what needs to be done. Legal problems are becoming very technical in this field and she is in a unique position to help companies comply with what needs to be done to prevent harmful side effects from industry. Working with industry to find safer, more suitable ways to manufacture the goods that we need is the fastest way to get to the cleaner environment that we all want.
Last night, it was a bit rocky on the boat, making it difficult to get to sleep for some of the people aboard.
This morning, there was an announcement posted on the bulletin board -- winds were 49.5 mph last night! Welcome to Antarctica! The wind was still at about 25 - 30 mph much of today, causing white, frothy tops to form on many of the waves crests. Watching the ship plow into the waves, creating gigantic walls of spray, was exhilarating, but I was also glad that I was in this great big ship that could handle it! The wind has now calmed down to a reasonable 16 mph and the air temperature now is .7 degrees Celsius. Quick - what is the approximate temperature in degrees Fahrenheit?
Thank you for all the good questions you've asked. I do enjoy answering them.
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