Friday, 21 August 2009

Day 7 – 13th August

Well as I write this, it is actually tomorrow evening and I have popped in for a quick break from a water sample and CTD section. I have just tipped a bottle of water right down my arm and into my gloves so my hands feel like they have been shoved in an ice cream tub for the last few hours. I hope some typing will warm them up!

Today has again been a fairly quiet day for me. We didn’t manage to collect all the moorings yesterday so the main part of the day was spent collecting the last few. We ended up having a 100% successful recovery rate which is incredible if you think that some of the instruments had been under the water for three years. Unfortunately as can only be expect, a handful of the instruments had malfunctioned in some way or other and didn’t have complete data sets. It’s a shame but in no way a real problem. For most of the morning and afternoon, apart from running out to see each mooring pop up, I was in the lab room continuing to process the CTD data. Whilst I was working Linda, the water sampling technician, was analysing some of the test samples we collected yesterday for dissolved oxygen. For some reason the auto analyser was playing up so she wasn’t having the best of days. Of course as it goes with technology it just started to suddenly work making her pretty pleased in the end!

The ice drilling team (Michelle, Richard and Carl) spent the day out on the ice and ended up drilling down 300m in total. They found an average thickness of 8m which is pretty thick for sea ice. I think they found such a ‘nice’ floe that they want to head back tomorrow to install a GPS tracker and thermistor chain (lots of thermometers in a line) to track and floe and its rate of melting. The guys who measure ice thickness via helicopter have not been able to get out for the last few days mainly because the ice thickness has not been worth the effort and the weather has been getting worse. The clear blue skies we have had since the beginning of the trip are slowly becoming overcast and foggy but hopefully this won’t last too long.

Ah got to head out we are on station – back in a while!

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