9 June, 1998
We are still in a polynya which has become science station #2 and slowly, but surely everybody is going to get some sampling done here. The water people were up all night attempting to do a CTD cast and eventually got enough bottles filled to call it good. There were a few problems with the cable that is used to lower the rosette and also communicate with the electronics equipment that it carries.
The rosette is a cylindrical metal frame about 1.7 m tall and 2 m in diameter. Attached to it are tubular water collecting devices called "niskin bottles". These bottles hold 30L of water and have lids at both the top and bottom that pull to one side to open and close by way of spring tension. The bottles are arranged around the outside perimeter of the frame and that is where the term rosette come from. The frame also carries down electronic gear to record conductivity, temperature, and depth. A separate electronic system "fires" or releases the lids of the bottles, allowing them to close, when signaled to do so from the operating booth aboard the ship. The entire piece of equipment is raised and lowered by way of a cable and J frame winch off the port side of the ship. The cable has a wire wound through it that allows data to be fed back to the computer on the ship and allows the controller to signal each bottle when to close it's lids. This allows water samples to be collected at various depths as a result of information relayed back to the controller and science team. Given that water is flowing completely through the bottle as the rosette is raised and lowered, the sample that is collected is a true representation of the water at a parcticular depth.
Apparently the CTD communications cable frayed and the entire hoisting/communication cable had to be replaced by the MST's during the night. The last cast was made this morning and all but one bottle fired so the water people have material to work with and they are happy. Lisa was going to put the box core down but the current and wind is moving the ship at almost 1 knot per hour. This would be a risky venture in these conditions so the decision was made to scrub that activity. The other thing we were going to try to do was drag the trawl net but a problem with the aft winch has delayed that activity too.
The ship has entered a huge polynya that is oblong along a NE/SW axis and is the better part of 100 miles long and 30 miles wide. It is just off the Alaskan coast between Cape Lisburne and Point Lay. We are making great time through here and hopefully we will be to the helicopter launch spot by morning.
Things in the dry lab were a bit slow but Aaron and I made the most of it by getting all our cores melted, nutrient/ion samples poured off, and meltwater filtered for chlorophyll tests. The e-mail system seems to be working a bit better and most the beakers are happy about that. The ship is certainly experiencing some problems but the general feeling is that we still have a solid two weeks before we need to head south and that things will get better. As I write this we have just put the trawl net down and will drag it for about half an hour before bringing it back in.
GOTTA GO !!!!
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