We are still in open water working at a deep station. The weather is beautiful with calm seas and bright sunshine. Yesterday some of the scientists deployed a floating sediment trap that drifts in the sea for about 24 hours until they go and retrieve it. After completing the multi-cores, we head off to find and recover the sediment trap. This involves a small boat being launched over the side and an elaborate plan to get the instrument back on deck with samples intact. The weather was on our side for this retrieval and it went off without a hitch. However, I would not have wanted to be in the small boat which was getting tossed around in the big seas.
“Retrieving the Sediment Trap”
The evening continued to be beautiful with flocks of gulls and other small birds flying around the ship. Then it was time for the science meeting to determine where and what we were going to do next.
All of the scientists convened in the science lounge to discuss the plan. Most of the transect work and time specific samples had already been collected and we had a few days to work with before we needed to head up to our next definite sample site so the question of what all of the scientists wanted to do was the topic of the meeting. Carin Ashjian, the chief scientist, began by going over what we had accomplished on the cruise in the past few days and then outlined the options for the next few days. After compiling the input of all of the principal investigators, it was decided to look for an area of production where there could be a lot of phytoplankton and then head north to look for the ice edge.
We should get into the ice sometime tomorrow evening so I am very excited as it has been a few years since I have been in a frozen ocean.