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28 July, 2001

Back to the Ridge

Saturday, 28 July 2001

God dag! (Good day!)

Life on Board

The time has come for practical jokesters to come out of hiding. It has been a month on the ship and people are looking for amusement. One of the expedition logistics persons, Bertil Larsson, has been on many Arctic expeditions and has a reputation for being a little bit "sticky" because he likes to get into what he calls "discussions." Apparently, he found a large potted cactus in his bunk one night. Oh, and a stuffed seagull. After a discussion about potato cannons, the two security guards on board found piles of unpeeled, raw potatoes in their bunks when they went to bed. These same potatoes were then transferred to Bertil's bunk the next night then to the helicopter pilot's bunks the next. Good, clean fun. I just hope I am not next on the list. And when my time comes, I hope it is potatoes and not potato salad.

Where Are We Now?

After the station was finished, we headed back to the Lomonosov Ridge so the seismic team could finish their sonic mapping. Coordinates at 10:30 pm as we transited back towards the Ridge were 88o14' North and 145o38' East. Back to rockin' and rollin', shakin' and bakin'.

Scientists at Work

There is a gap in the Lomonosov Ridge that allows some mixing of water from the two deep basins on either side. It is of great interest to the scientists on board to see what happens at this gap when the two water masses meet and where the resulting water ends up, its chemical and physical make-up, and biology. The gap has never been studied so when they find it, they will take some CTD/sampling casts in addition to the seismic mapping to find out everything they can from the surface above. When the seismic team has completed their task in a few days, the plan is to head in the direction of the North Pole and over the top and down to about 89o North above Spitzbergen. We will then find a suitable large ice floe to anchor the ship to, turn off the engines, and drift with the floe for 20 days, collecting data the entire time. Scientists will set up an ice camp and all of their equipment on the floe. This will be an interesting experience and a nice break from the ship.

E-MAIL Hello to Thomas Balch in Maine and all of the children of the scientists on the Oden. I know it's tough when your parents are gone for so long. They miss you, too. The Dolph family and everyone else in Pullman, Washington: Hello and thanks for checking up on me. I'll call when I get home in September. Hugs and kisses. Kevin Graham: Glad to hear you made it back from Canada. Thanks for the arcticle on Arctic Oscillation and its effects on the climate on the Northern Hemisphere. For others interested, the Arctic Oscillation is a climate pattern defined by winds circulating the Arctic that seems to have far-reaching effects on weather patterns. Its phases are unpredictable and are thought to be possibly linked to greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere. Denise Dove, Joe Vahle, and other El Cap students who have written: Generic hello since I can't respond to each personally. Look for an upcoming picture of a brand new and beautiful El Capitan High School banner at the North Pole. Since I brought it all this way, it will be flown! Bob Ryan and all the Alpinistas: Thanks for the good wishes. I am dreaming about rock climbing and hope you guys are having a good climbing summer. I wish I could even see a rock. Or a tree. Or dirt, even. John Lohr: Since our discussion about fog bows, Keith Biggs, onboard fog and cloud condensation nuclei specialist, has started photographing all of the fogbows we see and trying to coordinate the appearance of faint colors in them with fog droplet sizes measured at that site. He is wondering if he can look at a parcticular fogbow, note which colors are visible, then calculate approximate droplet size.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, above the Lomonosov Ridge,

Dena Rosenberger

Parting shots: The ice core drilling team had placed flags where they wanted to drill. I thought this made an amusing picture. These water traps might be dangerous!

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