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7 July, 2003

We continue north on a sea of glass.

The cruise has been so smooth so far, in fact, that I often go outside to confirm that the ship is even moving. And today, it's sunny, so I have been spending a lot of time out on deck watching the water go by and enjoying the nice weather (9 degrees C).

Earlier this morning we received some training in basic aviation safety in preparation for flying in the helicopter which will join us tomorrow when we reach Nome, Alaska. The helicopter will be used primarily by the marine mammal scientists that are studying 4 different species of seals when we reach the ice. The helicopter is also used to carry people and supplies to and from the ship, and depending on the ice conditions, the helicopter may be used for scouting a route through the ice if conditions demand it.

Evening excitement involved performing a test cast of the rosette water sampler. This is the device that most of our work depends on. Numerous water bottles are attached to the rosette array as well as other kinds of equipment that I'll describe in future journal entries. Although three water bottles leaked, everyone thought that things went well for after all, that's what tests are suppose to do. Trouble shooting any potential problems and giving everyone some practice operating the equipment during a test run is far more desirable than discovering a problem when it actually counts.

Sea of glass and sunny skies from the Palmer's bow.

A test deployment of the rosette water sampler.

Retrieving the rosette.

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