Edge of the Arctic Shelf
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Oxygen bottle
Christina Courcier examines an oxygen sample bottle for bubbles. Bubbles are bad - it means you have to take the sample again!
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Daily Update

Dispatch 30 - October 9, 2003
By C. A. Linder

Weather conditions: Overcast skies, calm winds and seas, air temperature 30°F

Thoughts of Home
The pastel hues of sunrise signaled the start of the day today. The seas were so calm, it seemed like we were steaming across a lake instead of into the Arctic Ocean. It's hard to believe this is the same ocean that battered us with such a ferocious storm just days ago. Our science watch teams kept the CTD sampling through the night and into the early afternoon, finishing off a section out over the shelfbreak into the Beaufort Sea. Then the bridge watch set the course for Barrow Canyon, full steam ahead...

Carin Ashjian, Marshall Swartz, John Kemp, and Ryan Schrawder packed their bags today - since their scientific work is complete, tomorrow the ship's helicopters will bring them to Barrow, Alaska. From there they will make the long journey home. Their imminent departure made us all think of home, families, friends, and dry land!

Mrs. Cadwell's 5th grade class at Varnum Brook Elementary School read our minds when they came up with these questions.

Question: What about families, or just putting your feet on the ground? Do you miss seeing land or ever get disoriented when surrounded by just water?

A multicolored jellyfish floats by the ship.
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I brought up these questions to my fellow scientists at lunchtime to see what their thoughts were. Everyone I talked to agreed that missing family and friends was the toughest thing about being at sea. Then I asked - what other things do you miss from home?

Answer from Andreas: In a few weeks time the U.S. National Table Tennis Teams Championships will be held in Baltimore. As the team captain of the Delaware team I am very far behind in preparing myself and team mates for this 3-day event where several thousand people of all ages (8-70+ years) participate. I also miss my garden, raking the leaves, seeing perhaps some green for a change. There is NOTHING green out here, just variation of grey.

Answer from Martha: The first thing I am going to do when I get home, is to get into my car and drive to (believe it or not) the BEACH! I want to see the ocean from another perspective, from LAND! Plus, I really miss driving.

Answer from Marshall: I miss my dog Bear, who is patiently waiting for me to take him out in the snow when I get home.

Answer from Ryan: What do I miss? Well of course I miss my girlfriend the most, that goes without saying. When I first get on land one of the first things I notice is the smell of the air, it's a much different smell than the sea air. Just being on solid ground, you can't imagine how much you take that for granted. Sometimes you even get the 'sea sway' while on land. I miss driving my car, my motorcycle, and also miss walking my dog. Pretty much eveything you can't do while living on a ship. So think about the things you do everyday, then think about the people that are on ships for long periods of time that can't do that stuff. Consider yourself lucky to be able to do those kinds of things whenever you want to. Living on a ship isn't a bad thing, it's just different.

Senior Chief Glen Hendrickson (below) watches as Marine Science Technician Josh Robinson removes blocks from the aft A-frame.
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Answer from Christina: For me, going to sea (in small doses!) offers new perspectives and new ways of looking at things in life which I appreciate- but along with that I sure do miss the sunshine, people/animals I am close with and ummmm, fresh flowers!

Answer from Lisa: I miss petting the cat while he's draped over my shoulder, meowing in my ear. I miss walking down to the corner on Sunday morning with my hunny and getting coffee and reading the paper.

Answer from Carin: I miss being able to eat what I want, when I want. Although I don't miss trees and grass, it is always a shock when I return to land and see these things again. It takes a while to adjust.

Another science party member celebrated a birthday today - Ryan Schrawder is a year older. To celebrate, Marshall Swartz and Sarah Zimmermann decorated a cake for Lisa, Dan, Ryan, and Val. Even though we're miles away from home, the science party is like a little family - we look out for each other and make sure everyone keeps their spirits up.

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