Happy Leap Year Day!

February 29, 2008

Water is regularly splashing against the porthole in the lab.

We’ve moved once again. We are now just south of the Antarctic Circle at
our fourth station. Apparently March comes in like a lion in the southern
hemisphere, too. Last night the weather forecast came out, and it was
worse—at least 48 more hours of low pressure, high wind and seas, and more
snow. The winds were already blowing over 30 knots and the box corer
began to pre-trigger (the swell affected the wire tension so much that the
spade would close before the corer reached the seabed). It was clear
there was not going to be any more coring for a while. We decided to make
the most of the ship time by finishing up all the trawling at our third
station and transiting south. There continues to be some work we can get
done despite the large swell and high winds. Right now we are surveying
the new station to identify good, muddy spots to core. The down side of
this is that the ship must run along defined transect lines, regardless of
how she takes the swells. Right now it feels like we are in the trough,
rolling from side to side. Hopefully soon, we’ll turn, have following
seas, and enjoy a smoother ride for a while.

Liz and Karin are still dissecting smaple from last night's trawl.

Most of us are taking the opportunity to catch up on sample analyses,
dishwashing and dissecting chores. We’ve also had a label party, making
labels for containers that will hold the tracer experiment samples. We’ll
end those experiments tonight.

Prepping sample jars to hold the first C-13 labeled samples.

Position: 67 degrees 00.081 minutes South; 69 degrees 39.998 minutes West
Heading: 305.3 degrees
Speed over ground: 10.1 knots
Air temp. 2.4 degrees C; Water temp. 0.971 degrees C


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