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15 July, 2001

To the Deep, Rough Water

Sunday, 15 July 2001

Hej! (Hello!)

Life on Board

The ship has an amazing video collection and library on the first deck. There are many recently released videos like Space Cowboys, Being John Malkovitch, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There are also older videos like Shaft. These videos are the regular English versions with Swedish subtitles. All of the Scandinavians speak English so I guess they can choose how they want to understand the movie. There is a movie or two playing almost every night, although sometimes it is a strictly Swedish movie. One of my first nights onboard, I heard they were playing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was really excited because I hadn't seen that yet. I went into the Library Room and took a seat as the film opened . . . in Chinese with Swedish subtitles! I stayed to watch it anyway, seeing if I could understand the storyline just watching the expressions and tone of voice. Interesting experience.

Where Are We Now?

We are steaming to an open water station off of the shallower shelf around Spitzbergen. It is cloudy and the seas are getting rough again. I hope our VIPs don't get seasick. Present coordinates are about 79o46' N and 7 o06' E. Our second batch of new scientists arrived from Longyearben and our VIPs and camera crew departed in the SuperPuma helicopter. I hope they enjoyed their stay!

Scientists at Work

We were steaming west all day and were supposed to arrive on station about 2 pm in the deep water to the west of Svalbard in the Greenland Sea. The deep water has different biology than the shelf water, without influence from the fresher water coming off of the land. We plan to lower a small device called a fluorometer into the water to a depth of 100 m. It measures the amount of chlorophyll in the water as it passes through and sends the information up the wire to a computer. This tells the scientists how much plankton is in the water at every depth. They then decide which depths they want to get water samples from, based on the "biomass" at each level. Next, they tell the sampling rosette (CTD) operating team which depths they would like samples from and they will program the Nansen bottles to open at the specified depths.

Unfortunately, we were headed into a storm and the station was postponed to 6 pm because the swell was getting worse. At 5:30, it was still too rough to put any instruments over the side so the station was postponed to midnight. It was completely foggy with a visibility of about 100-200 m and heavy seas. Being a Sunday, we still were required to dress up for dinner, especially since we had new scientists onboard although we decided to go on standby for the station to start. Even if it stays too rough to lower the CTD, they decided to take surface samples if possible. A meeting is set for 10:30 pm on the bridge to plan.

I'll go to bed but wait for a knock on the door at any time. And set my alarm for 2:45 am regardless of station for my liquid argon duty.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, somewhere west of Spitzbergen, Dena Rosenberger

Dr. Patricia Matrai and I on the Oden. I thought her daughter, 7-year-old Sara, would appreciate a picture of her mom!

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