19 July, 2001
Thursday, 19 July 2001
God dag! (Good day! Pronounced "goo dah!")
Life on Board
Happy Day! While I was out on the ice with the ice core drilling team, one of the scientists shouted down to me from the ship that all of the DMS samples had been processed and I didn't need to come off the ice to fill the argon. I was so excited that I started jumping up and down (how American ñ displays of such emotion!) then I decided it wasn't that good of an idea to jump up and down on an ice sheet with 4.5 kilometers of Arctic Ocean a few meters below.
Our flock of seagulls has left us! Only two gulls were flying around today, skimming the water surface and occasionally diving. There seems to be lot's of food around on the ice and in the water but no birds to eat it. There was a big spotted seal playing around in the water next to the ship and spyhopping to see what was happening on the ice. They are so graceful in the water! I got a bird's eye view of it since it first appeared while I was riding over the water in the metal basket used to transport people and equipment onto the ice with the crane.
Where Are We Now?
This is Ice Station 13. It is cloudy but at least it has stopped raining. Coordinates are 85o05' N by 38o07' E. Man! Are we heading north or what??
Scientists at Work
We were scheduled to arrive at a 4-hour station (Ice Station 11) last night at midnight so I went to bed right after dinner, about 8:00 pm (20:00 hours ship time) to get a few hours sleep. The ship was jolting around as it plowed through the thick ice but I did sleep a little. At 11 pm, I was awakened by a knock on my door. I got to join the ice core drilling team on the ice for a few hours. For some reason, their research and equipment is very interesting to me (and I get to drill the cores!). We drilled a total of 4 cores, each about 1 meter in length on this parcticular ice floe. They measure the total length then cut it into parts, 10 or 15 centimeter sections, place the sections into carefully labeled buckets, and keep track of everything in a log book (that's my duty, too). They measure the salinity and take the temperature of the center of the core every 10 centimeters and record. They are especially interested in the bottom 5 cm of the core where most of the organisms attach on the underside of the ice.
When we were finished, I went back on the ship and helped my group collect water samples from the sampling rosette, then processed them for later analysis. The oceanography team put the rosette down to 4.5 km depth here! Wow! That's more than 2.5 miles down! I hit the sack about 4 am (sun shining brightly) then got up for lunch and a meeting of the atmospheric chemistry group.
We got on to our next station about 2:00 in the afternoon. It was only a one-hour station but they wanted to get an ice core so we hurriedly got equipment together and hit the ice. We only got one core drilled before we had to return and the ice was so thick here that we drilled 2 meters down and never broke through to the water. When I returned to the ship, there were water samples to process from the CTD cast.
E-mail Hello to Bob, Sheila, Beth. Thanks for good thoughts. Mr. White and Mr. Huss: Too bad you guys are teaching summer school while I'm just sitting around up here in the snow - and ice - and cold - and working all night. Hello to New Hampshire and the Sprague family, especially Davis and Maxwell! In regards to making a donation for my satellite email service for more time online, let me talk to my sponsors. In regards to the cold, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat has outfitted us all with incredible fleece jackets, Gore-tex parkas and Gore-tex overalls. I also have waterproof Goretex ice boots, polypro gloves and waterproof diving gloves. Hello to Sheryle Stratton and everyone at El Capitan High School, including Greg Hoffmaster in Tech Fundamentals class (Since I am a teacher, I must tell you to check your spelling before sending any mail, including email!)
Vi ses! (See you later!)
From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, somewhere north of 85,
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