July 24, 2008
We are cruising along the continental shelf of the Canada Basin in the Beaufort Sea, currently stopped at Station A. Oceanographic data has been collected here since at least 1995, so we are spending some time here to be sure that the scientists are able to collect all the necessary samples to continue the "picture in time" of this location. Samples are collected very close together because on the shelf as depth changes rapidly so do the measured factors.
The Ice Tethered Profiler team (ITP) team from Woods Hole (WHOI) is testing their communications and release mechanisms. I helped them out in their shop (also the helicopter hanger).
Leaving nothing to chance, Rick turns on and tests the electronics to be sure all is in order. He and Will Ostrom then set the buoy outside to see if it can find its location using its GPS system. They will begin to deploy the ITPs when we reach ice. To prepare for deploying and recovering moorings, Jim Dunn runs underwater tests on the release mechanisms.
Because so many samples are being taken at Station A, I have been helping out in the CTD shack, where the rosette is brought after each cast.
Being the "sample cop" is an appropriate job for a middle school teacher! Two scientists went out in the Zodiac to collect undisturbed Station A water samples. They collected water at the surface, at 5 meters and at 10 meters deep.
We are in open water now so when we cruise, we move fast! We expect to hit ice within the next week.