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3 August, 2001

Winter Wonderland?

Friday, 3 August 2001


Life on Board

Have you ever thought about dust? I haven't really, until now. I have always figured that dusting is not only a tedious and necessary cleaning job, but also that it is probably ubiquitous to every place in the world. Well, I have found a place without it. Things don't get dusty here. I might not have noticed but we are supposed to keep our cabins neat and actually clean them once a week. One day when I started to do the weekly cleaning, I inspected the desk and table in our cabin, to see if I should look for a rag to dust. It has been more than a month.and there was no dust. Where does dust come from? After thinking about it, my best guess is that it comes from dirt kicked up from people and cars, agricultural and industrial output, and wind-carried non-water parcticles. Don't get me wrong, there is still some dirt around just from daily wear from the few humans on this little island, but dusting is only a faint and unpleasant memory.

Where Are We Now?

It is still snowing heavily today but at least the flakes are mostly falling down instead of sideways. We are still drifting towards Greenland, and not Siberia, so all of the expedition leaders are breathing a sigh of relief. But things can change at any time. Our coordinates at 1:00 this afternoon were 88o46'North by 4o08' West.

Scientists at Work

The crew was going to be nice to us and salt the decks around our laboratory containers to melt the snow. Salting is a common way to keep roads ice-free in places where it snows. It decreases the melting point of ice by adding ionic parcticles so it melts at a lower temperature. Luckily, the Atmospheric Chemistry coordinator overheard their plans and asked them not to. The reason is that it would put salt parcticles into the air and these labs contain all of the sensitive aerosol sampling instruments. We aren't even allowed to sweep or shovel the snow away because it would throw unwanted parcticles of dirt, grease, paint, and other undesirable stuff into the air.

At 4:30 this afternoon, I took the seawater samples from yesterday out of the "incubator" for processing. The incubator had two inches of snow around the edges. I had to filter, prep, and freeze them just like I do with fresh seawater samples to await processing for dimethyl sulfide by the Gas Chromatograph expert, Patricia Matrai.

Johan Knulst took his surface slick sampling boat out by snowmobile to an open lead he had scouted yesterday some distance from the ship to try to collect some microlayer water. Unfortunately, there was a layer of snow on top of the water and his little boat just tried to push it around and got bogged down. They said it looked like a little icebreaker trying to make its way through pack ice. No sample collected. Another problem is that the fresh water from melting snow makes the surface layer salinity very low so organisms living there would either die or move to another depth.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, drifting west through the snow, 88 North,

Dena Rosenberger

Foredeck - Deck 4 Laboratory Containers On the right is the superstructure of the ship. On the left, the doors you see with steps are the laboratory containers.

Foredeck - Deck 1, Outside of the Main Lab. I am retrieving a brown bottle seawater sample from the incubator (in front) and putting it into the cooler to take to the lab. Notice the open lead in the background.

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