September 26, 2016
It really is looking very Arctic out there. Snowed at night and the railings and all the surfaces are coated with icy white. Some of the scientists are looking a little beleaguered. Having a shift of twelve hours, participating in the Rosette lowering and raising and complicated sampling that follows can take up to 90 minutes. Some in the night shift like Jean Mensa and Steve Page say they are getting the pattern of it, falling into a rhythm, but these first few days have been disorienting.
Today there is meeting about logistics. The buoy and mooring people, Rick, Will, Jeff, Cory and Chris, meet with the Captain, Chief Mate, Chief Engineer, and the Bosun. We should be hitting the ice tomorrow, Tuesday or certainly by Wed morning. There will be four or five very full days for recovering and deploying moorings and buoys. Helicopter will shuttle people and gear onto the ice where they will work for hours at a time. I heard talk that on the first day there will be a “four-hour” buoy along with some “shorter” ones, so Wednesday should be one of the biggest days and Rick and Trevor agree to have food and coffee for twenty people. One or two crewmembers will spell each other with the bear gun. Polar bears are unpredictable, so someone always has to be on the lookout when people are working on the ice.
This is a well-oiled machine, with some of the crew remembering last year and some, like the Captain, new to this group of scientists. The CTD Rosette will operate in the evenings but only during the day if the ship is sufficiently separated from those working out on the ice. Sarah says ice operations have priority during mooring and buoy days.
I’m excited and hope to get out on the ice to work on the ice with Rick and the rest of the team.
To learn more about Peter Lourie click here.