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23 July, 2001

Lomonosov Ridge

Monday, 23 July 2001


Life on Board

The Scandinavians take their social events very seriously. The Atmospheric Chemistry group, which includes about 20 of the 50 scientists on board and me, was charged with hosting the official Welcome Dinner tonight for the new people who came onboard last week at Svalbard. We had decided to have a South American Carnival theme because several people have salsa music CDs and so a few days ago we put an announcement on the message board telling the date, time, and theme for the party. We met this afternoon to make and hang decorations. Hmmm...I forgot to pack party balloons and streamers in bright colors. Well, one scientist had large plastic trash bags in bright orange and another had white ones. From these we made big flowers and streamers. We blew up surgical gloves of blue and white and hung them from the roof with orange streamers attached. People also made funny hats, leis, and skirts with orange trash bags. There were interesting costumes of whatever people could find. Several people decorated T-shirts for the event. I attached slices of an orange to my earrings and wore an orange plastic garbage bag skirt.

We placed a picture of a certain fruit on each table and when people came in to the dining area, they chose a card with a fruit picture on it from a plastic-bag-decorated basket. For their seating assignment, they had to find the table that matched their fruit. We did this so that everybody would sit with people they might not ordinarily sit with. During the first course (toast with shrimp and caviar), the Atmospheric group coordinator stood and announced the welcome and invited each table to find the piece of paper that had been taped to the underside of their table. On this piece of paper was a song that the table would be required to stand up and sing to the entire gathering. There were Swedish and American folk songs, including Row, Row, Row Your Boat; House of the Rising Sun (?); Where Have all the Flowers Gone?; and others. My table got an easy one: Itsy, Bitsy Spider, which we sang first in Swedish and then in English, complete with accompanying gestures, which I made everyone in the entire room do with us as we sang.

Where Are We Now?

We have reached the Lomonosov Ridge, which runs roughly across the pole from Siberia to the top of Greenland, and rises above the ocean floor some 3000 meters. At the top, it is only about 1500 meters below the sea surface. We are now at about 88o North and 126o East and we will now turn to the right and go somewhat south (pretty much every direction is south from us) along the ridge, while the seismologists collect data. More about their work tomorrow.

Scientists at Work

With the party preparations and being between stations, not a lot of science went on today. The CTD/rosette team was exhausted from the rigorous sampling schedule that they have been holding to. I helped the microlayer chemist, Johan Knulst, process his surface layer bacteria samples by adding 90 microliters of trichloroacetic acid to the multitudes of small vials that he had divided them into. This compound kills the bacteria and also extracts the amino acids. He will perform bacterial counts at a later time, after staining them.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, somewhere north of 88,

Dena Rosenberger

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