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16 July, 2001

A Transect Through Open Water

Monday, 16 July 2001

God afton! (Good evening!)

Life on Board

Our resident ornithologist, Michael Norman from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Stockholm, told me to watch for the puffins, which had joined our flock of seabirds to fly awkwardly along next to the ship. Beautiful with their unmistakable red and yellow triangular beaks, they aren't very good at flying in the air but underwater they turn graceful and agile.

Where Are We Now?

Last night, the expedition leaders decided to make a transect (relatively straight line) north then turn and go straight east through the open water while we collected data the whole time, stopping for short stations along the way.

Current position is 80o51'N and 18o47' E with a speed of about 13 mph. It is cloudy and windy but not as rough as it was earlier. We are passing by the last of the Svalbard islands, which we can see to the south. They are really rugged and steep, and isolated icebergs are starting to drift past us, probably calved from glaciers somewhere on the islands. Beautiful scenery.

Scientists at Work

After about an hour of sleep, I was awakened from my bunk by a knock at 11 pm last night by the Atmospheric Chemistry Coordinator, Caroline Leck from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Stockholm. We would be processing samples along the transit every 2 hours, starting at 11:15 pm and finishing at 7:15 am tomorrow morning. Rise and shine! At least it is light outside so it makes it a little easier to get up.

The water was still fairly rough so we couldn't cast the big CTD. The ship paused for us along the transit to take samples every 2 hours. Using a single bottle that closes at a certain depth, Dr. Patricia Matrai would tie in to a small platform off the starboard side and lower the bottle to 8 meters depth, pull it up, collect the seawater sample then lower it again to 4 meters depth and collect a sample. I was in the Main Lab on Deck 1 and, at a signal from another person standing outside my window, collected a sample from the onboard flow-through seawater system in the lab at the same time and position that the bottle sample was being collected. These flow-through samples will be analyzed for dissolved and parcticulate dimethylsulfide so it was my job to prepare them and store them correctly for future use. This process takes about one and a half hours then a half an hour wait until the next stop and sample. I was a little tired by 7 am.

God natt! (Good night!)

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

Dr. Caroline Leck and Dr. Patricia Matrai with the single depth sampling bottle, in the middle of the night!

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