This past week has been odd. The nice part about being in the ice was the relatively smooth water, which helped make our casts and sample collection much easier. After leaving the ice, the seas have become more typical, with larger swells and waves. The waves cause the ship to drift while sampling, which can be a problem when we have gear over board. Unfortunately, last week the GEOTRACES rosette was in the water and the ship couldn’t maintain position, causing the wire to scrape the ship. The wire lost some of its water-proof shell, leading to a period of no sampling.
Around the same time we hit some bad weather. Winds quickened to 40 knots, forcing us to abandon one of our super stations. This was frustrating because the station was a crossover station with the Canadian section of the GEOTRACES cruise track. This means that had we sampled at that location, we could have compared our results to the Canadians. Due to the damaged GEOTRACES wire, we were unable to collect samples. To make up for the lost station, we collected duplicates at the following station to send to our Canadian friends. The other bummer about the storm was I started to feel a bit sea sick. Luckily I only felt queasy, and I didn’t actually get sick. I learned my lesson and am prepared to pre-medicate for our next storm, which we should hit sometime on Tuesday.
In other news, one of my friends in the Coast Guard is in charge of the engraving shop. He let me follow him around and learn how to engrave signs. I learned that there is quite a bit of artistry and skill involved. After completing the requested jobs, we made a sign for the mercury lab, which turned out well.
On top of sampling, the last week I’ve been busy lesson planning. There is an introduction to oceanography class aboard the ship that a few of the crew are enrolled in. The class is held for 45 minutes in the morning and evening so that people on different shifts can attend. Some of the scientists volunteered to teach some of the lectures. Lauren Kipp (a student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and I were asked to teach the last two lectures on pollution and climate change. We present Tuesday and Wednesday, which should be fun.