4 August, 2001
Blowin' in the Wind
Saturday, 4 August 2001
Life on Board
You must be adaptable, resilient, and ready to move at all times on this expedition. Early this morning, I heard the ship engines turn on. I raced downstairs to see what was going on and found that they were going to turn the ship around because the wind had changed direction. My scientific brain said, wait a minute.this is supposed to be a drift station with no disturbance of the natural surroundings. The reason was that they need to have the wind blowing from the front of the ship towards the back because all the instruments that measure gases and parcticles are at the front of the ship. If the wind is blowing from the back, it picks up stuff from the ship before it gets to the front deck and registers on the instruments. It took about an hour to un-anchor and disconnect all of the power running out to the ice camps. Then it took another hour to turn the ship, then another to reconnect. Scientists on the ice said it felt really strange to see the ship leaving them as it went to turn around.
About an hour after we got resettled, the announcement came that they needed to turn the ship again so if anyone wanted to go onto the ice, it had to be now. People jumped up from lunch and started running to get gear and equipment. Otherwise, it would be a few hours again until there would be ice access. I hope this doesn't happen too often or we will have many disgruntled scientists.
Where Are We Now?
It wasn't snowing today but it looked threatening for most of the day. Expedition leaders are holding their breath because we are starting to drift a little more towards the east. Our coordinates at lunchtime were 88o46' N by 4o12' W. This puts us in the Amundsen Basin between the Lomonosov Ridge and the Gakkel Ridge.
Scientists at Work
This afternoon I went out with the ice coring team, Tuomo Roine from Helsinki, and Zoe Fleming from England. While we were waiting for the snowmobile to arrive with our equipment, we sat in the snow and had some coffee to warm up. After our equipment arrived, we drilled three cores, each about 130 centimeters in length. Ice expert Tuomo said that the really thick ice they had drilled the other day (4 meters) was actually at least two ice floes "rafted" on top of each other. What we drilled today was new ice from this year. The first core was cut into 20 cm pieces and put in buckets to be taken back to the lab and melted slowly to look for organisms, keeping the bottom 5 cm for especially close observation of ice algae growing under the ice. The second core was also cut into 20 cm pieces and put into bags for nutrient analysis after melting. Then we took another core and stuck a thermometer into the center every 10 centimeters and recorded the data. When we were done, we decided to have a little fun by burying Tuomo in the snow as if we were at the beach in the sand, with just his head sticking out. As far as I can tell, the Finns actually enjoy being cold and he said that he was quite comfortable. Who says science in the snow isn't fun?
Vi ses! (See you later!)
From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, drifting through the ice, a little east, 88 North,
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