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29 July, 2001

Heavy Ice Pack (HIP)

Sunday, 29 July 2001


Life on Board

For the first two weeks of this expedition, I shared my container with the light architect from Stockholm, Gerhard Rehm. In our container, he had a computer, a printer, and some AutoCad-type drawings on the wall. That's it. I usually had the container to myself because he often worked in other places. At the Rotation in Svalbard on July 14th and 15th when some people left the ship and new ones came onboard, he returned to Stockholm and I got a new container mate. Also an artist from Stockholm, Johan Petterson paints a different kind of light. He uses watercolor to capture images of the Arctic while also being a keen observer of the people onboard. He uses video and audio to record everything going on and seems constantly amazed and amused by the idiosyncrasies of science and scientists. In our container, in addition to his computer, one whole side of the container has his art supplies and the whole wall is filled with color. I get to work in the lightest and most colorful place on the ship! He is so genuinely interested in people and their work that we have a constant stream of visitors dropping by the container. Many just come by to chat. Many come by just to look at the cartoon strips that he paints and posts. These comic strips contain amusing tidbits of life on board that Johan is parcticularly adept at picking out and everybody wants to see if they have made it to the cartoon wall or just see what the latest buzz is all about. This is the place to be.

Where Are We Now?

Apparently the seismic team found the gap they were looking for but it was a bit of a disappointment, not being as deep or important as they hoped. So, we are still working back and forth in a sampling grid pattern over the ridge. They have posted HUGE printouts from the seismic mapping of a nearby area from the 1996 Arctic Ocean Expedition on the Oden down on the main level and they are amazing. You can tell on the readouts where the sediment laid down on top of the ridge stops and the bedrock begins, as well as other pockets of different densities down in the rock.

Scientists at Work

Most efforts today went into planning for the upcoming 20-day drift and ice camp. This is going to be an incredible opportunity to collect good data and follow different parameters over a fairly extended amount of time. Several times at previous stations, some data was unusable due to effects from the ship. These are unavoidable things like diesel fuel traces in the water, paint fumes, and smokestack output. During the drift, the ship will be shut down so there will be no contamination (and no MOTION!).

I learned how to stain bacteria today and make slides from the surface microlayer samples that Johan Knulst collected at the last station. The process is fairly involved with special filters and a DNA stain. Somehow, I always manage to either drop or break cover slips for slides. I always have, and probably always will, so I leave that crucial last step for Johan.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, still above the Lomonosov Ridge, Dena Rosenberger

Johan Petterson and me, hard at work in the container.

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