Monday, October 30, 2006

What was: Day 66 - Sachs Harbor

Sachs Harbor is cold. We brought a bunch of school kids onboard today for tours, like we did in Resolute Bay, except with fewer kids, since this town is a fraction of the size of Resolute (if I remember correctly there's 110 people in Sachs Harbor). I was a tour guide this time, leading the kids around from one station to another, where different scientists would talk about their projects.

First off, however - a little phenomenon known as Arctic smoke. You see this when some "warm" water (possibly a few degrees above freezing) hits some "cold" water (basically freezing), and it creates this bizarre smoke. The photo doesn't really do it justice...

Anyway, the kids. The town is so small it doesn't have a dock, so we had to fly them in four at a time via helicopter:

Then the learning begins!

Dany shares his wisdom in the rosette shack:

In my lab, the biggest troublemaker seems to be paying attention:

Annnd after a few other things that I don't have photos of, off they go again!

One girl had very interesting eyes...

What was: Day 62 - New People

Some of the new people that came on the ship I've actually met before, in Quebec.

Such as Keith, the ever-awesome miracle man. We have the same camera as well!

There's good new folks too. Like Stephan, a scientist and photographer of another sort -

And Phillip, our new Inuit representative -

And Dominque, super-scientist -

The new crew are pretty cool as well, although its rather strange having to get used to a whole new group. Here's two people (I'll be honest, I can't recognize them through the Mustangs) making...something. I think a roof for the rosette winch.

You can see our chemical disposal site next to them.

Unfortunately there's very little ice in this area...but we have a nice sky today -

If you were wondering what exactly it is I do, here's a brief rundown. I take all of these bottles:

Fill them up out of this thing (rosette):

Then take them back to the lab and spend the rest of the day filtering all that water through here:


What was: Day 60 - A Difficult Day.

Today is my birthday [note-please remember this is what was, and "today" is referring to September 28th]. Today is also the crew change. All of my friends are leaving the boat, and due to some confusion/utter lack of communication in my team, I will be the only one not getting off the boat, not even to visit the land for a few hours.

Lisa walking out of my life:

Helicopter taking away everyone I know:

Rock mocking my pain:

Sebastian doing the same:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What was: Day 56 - Leg 1 drawing to a close...

Leg 1 of the Amundsen trip is almost over. The crew change is in a few days, and other than myself and a few other scientists everyone on board will be leaving. This will be a pretty massive change...

But until then I still have pretty scenery to look at and science is always wanting attention. This is the back of the ship - I'm standing on the helideck looking out over the ice:

Currently we're breaking through some thin new ice -

Um, awesome?

I can't remember what it's called when the ice does that, but that stitches pattern happens when thin sheets of ice break apart and then come together in staggered, zig-zag layers. According to the sources of my sources, this might be called "fingering". Hopefully you get what I'm talking about. You could see it happen in small patterns, but its hard to imagine one that massive holding together.

The captain looks out for trouble.

And the third officer does...whatever the third officer does.

The ship is a delicate and specific machine. We can go slow, or we can go dead slow:

And finally one of my favorite shots from the trip - in McClintock Channel now, an area where very few ships have ever been:

What was: Day 54 - Resolute Bay

Today we had a group of school kids from the Resolute Bay community come onboard for a tour of the Amundsen and the science that's going on. Speaking of science, here's Jesse and Bruno doing some delicate contaminants work.

And just for fun here's a sunset from the previous day:

So anyways - school kids onboard. We did our best. Some of the older ones acted somewhat interested in the science. For most of them the presentations deteriorated into pointing at something big and telling them to look at it. They loved the captain's chair and the helicopter the most.

Steve the mapper speaks:

Klaus the meterologist has a go:

A group of kids arrives on the zodiac:

While Jesse and Abraham look on:

Alex talks about zooplankton:

The captain talks about his chair:

School kid:

School kid:

Oh Jesse:

School kid in the mapping room:

School kid in the rosette shack:

Multiple school kids in the rosette shack:

"Ramon: The Cool Scientist" talks about collecting chlorophyll:

And a lucky kid gets to sit in the pilot's chair:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What was: because I can't resist posting more of Lisa

Lisa works with the sediment trap. It's a big box that you drop in the water, and when it hits the bottom it picks up a bunch of mud.

Then Lisa samples said mud:

And then she "preserves" what little life she finds.

That's science!

What was: Day 51 - Belcher Glacier. Incredible.

Arctic scientists are hi-larious:

Today was one of the most incredible days ever. We arrived at Belcher Glacier for some ocean floor mapping, and the helicopter went out twice for photographs.

Coming up to the glacier we had a bit of evidence of wildlife. Note the blood.

The first time up in the helicopter it was a bit windy, and the copter was right next to the glacier - so the pilot flew up over the icecap, then swung into the glacier canyon and flew REALLY fast right above the ice. Like an insane IMAX movie, you know that sensation? The second flight, we were supposed to take photos of the Amundsen and two smaller boats we carry onboard (the Heron and the skippy boat). We came up around next to a mountain and were about to come around to see the ship, and our quiet fatherly French pilot says, "oh, a bit of fun first". Then he suddenly drives the opter straight up the side of the mountain and DROPS down the other side and swings into a side canyon. It was awesome. We were all yelling like cowboys.

I'm afraid for most of the following photos there's not much to say other than "this is us at Belcher Glacier." So sit back and enjoy.

A side wing to the glacier:

The ice cap:

Terrain pulled off the mountain from the glacier coming in two different directions, known as MEDIAL MORAINE:

Line of terrain in the glacier ice:

Heron in background and skippy boat in foreground:

Skippy boat working on ice sampling:

Glacier calving:

You've seen this one before, but I love it: