16 March, 2001
The Bering Sea is named after Captain Commander Ivan Ivanovich (Vitus) Bering, a Dane in the Imperial Russion Navy. Bering is generally credited with discovering Alaska. He was sent to the east by Peter the Great of Russia in 1728 to determine whether Asia and North America were a continuous landmass. He sailed the St. Gabriel, and it was on this trip that probably the first non-native name was applied t what is now Alaska, when Bering sighted and named St. Lawrence Island in August 1728.
We began our shift at 2400. Our second station (my first) of water sampling was cancelled due to rough waters. Our bodies weren't telling us we were in rough waters. This is a good thing! We rested well before going on duty in our sauna a.k.a. our berth. Shorts and t-shirts are very comfortable in the berth. Our room has inner walls so we are nice and warm. The rooms lining the outside walls of the ship are quite cool, about 62 degrees.
The night shift completed the first water sampling at 530. The CTD rosette contains 24 ten liter Niskin bottles that can be used for measuring nutrients in the water (ammonia phosphate, silica, and nitrate), chlorophyll a, and O18. I was responsible for collecting water for the chlorophyll a testing. I filled 12 bottles from the Niskins, which had been collected at depths of 0 (surface) to 90 meters. The tubes are released once the machine is on the bottom of the ocean and the tubes are filled on the way up. Once collected I poured them into a filtering rig, which housed a filter and funnel and tube to collect the water after it drained through the filter. Each vial contains one filter from 12 different depths which was then placed in the freezer for one hour to break down the cell walls. From there, 90% acetone was added and then each vial was refrigerated. In 24 hours the filters will be placed in a fluorometer to check for carbon. It is still not too cold out (about 30 degrees) but the water is very cold.
We finally made it to the gym. The stairclimber and treadmill were very interesting. I never tried these pieces of equipment while rocking! That would be a challenge for even one with perfect balance I would suspect!
The meals have not been bad at all. There are lots of choices. We haven't been lacking anything. We had tasty salmon for lunch today and steak and lobster are planned for tomorrow night. Coffee is a nice item for the midnight shift. Midrats occur at 2300. I haven't tried that yet. The ship is planning to have green ice cream sundaes and bingo tomorrow night. Sounds like fun.
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