Wow what a day!! 19 hour shift, broken CTDs, midnight sun and $1.50 beers in the officers louge!!
Our first night on the boat was fairly quiet until we started to break ice for the first time. At this point we all got woken up by the noise of the bow climbing on top of the ice floe and then the grinding and scraping as the boats weight breaks through the floe and spits it out the sides. The boat moves around all over the place as the shear weight of the thick ice is enough to simply deflect the boat sideways if its unable to break through it. There are stories for the science team and crew of times were boats have been stopped dead by the thickness of multiyear ice sending people and equipment flying everywhere!
Breakfast starts the day at 7.30am and again there is enough food to feed you for a life time. The morning was spent firing up the first of out two CTDs as the plan was to complete a 13 station CTD section across Smith Sound sometime before the end of the day. Of course as the sun does not go down, the ‘end of the day’ is a bit ambiguous! Everything was going fine and by lunch (11 am!!!) we thought we had it sorted. In the afternoon we relaxed and watched the ice as we waited for deck crew, who were involved with getting the helicopter away to visit a weather station, to set up boom used to lower the CTD.
Just before dinner we lowered the CTD into the water and there it all went wrong! In the end about 7 hours later, Ron the electronics technician the problem had finally sorted out (the connector cable had to be replaced and the baud rates reset) and we were ready to start the section. Of course even though it was midnight, work didn’t stop. It was still broad daylight! Finally Helen, Berit and Jo and myself managed to complete 5 stations along the profile before the CTD decided to pack it in again. At this point we had all had enough and decided to turn in for the night and leave the troubleshooting till the morning – or whatever time we all woke up again!