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All ships have gremlins

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A sunset at sea.

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The birthday girl, Charlene!  Charlene works on CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons.  CFCs are human-produced compounds that are injected into the air, and end up in the ocean.  Tracing CFCs is a way to trace human impact on different parcels of ocean water.

We have been situated over Station three for nearly 24 hours now.  Technicians and other magicians of the electrical variety have been pouring over our rosette of instruments, trying to figure out why we have not been able to deploy a successful cast.  First, the altimeter, the instrument that tells you how far the rosette package is from the seafloor, was faultily drawing all the power out of the CTD and other instruments as it failed.  After replacing the altimeter with a spare, the instrument signal began to flicker at approximately 250 meters depth.  On the way up, the signal returned at approximately120 meters.  It was deduced, by some very smart and patient people, that this would most likely be caused by a power connection which, when under the pressure of the sea at 250 meters, became unstable.  Such is scientific instrumentation and fieldwork and because CLIVAR has so many sampling components and accompanying different instruments, it is not entirely surprising that we are having some trouble. 

One very experienced captain once told me that, “all ships have gremlins.”  Unfortunately, our gremlins are wreaking havoc on our sampling schedule and driving our technicians and scientists a little crazy.  But with patience and years of experience, they will solve the issues that continue to prevent efficient sampling.

On another note, happy birthday, CHARLENE!!

Last updated: November 25, 2009

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