Saturday, October 28, 2006

What was: Day 50 - Lots o' science

The Amundsen is a ship of science. There are many different teams doing many different projects in chemistry, biology, physics...lots of stuff. Let's take a look -

The plankton teams put these massive nets in the water to collect whatever they can get. Then they count and categorize everything, which I find incredible, considering how much they get.

The contaminants teams use this sediment trap to look for things in the water:

The meterologists hate us.

(The frame holds up a camera looking down at the mirror - it allows them to constantly monitor the sky/whatever stupid things people do in front of the mirror.)

On the front of the boat we have a very tall weather tower. Tim is very brave...

And that's the chief scientist Dave Barber looking on below. Meanwhile, fantastic deckhand Miriam helps with another sampling team:

And Pascal gets ready to work his magic on some machinery (he's one of the people in charge of handling the moorings and fixing just about everything).

All this science is well and good, but the crew engineer's keep everything running and we couldn't do anything without them. The engineers are fantastic.

Today we had one of our successful sediment trap retrievals (one of the other attempts ended too early for the samples to be of any use - the traps got too close to Greenland. The Amundsen is not allowed to come within 3 miles of the Greenland coast and we had to pick them up.)

This is what it is like to pick up sediment extraordinarily beautiful light.

First we have to find them.

The buoy has a radio transmitter attached to the top that the ship can find, as well as a flashing light that helps a little. The bouy is attached to another buoy (for good measure) and the sediment trap line. The trap line has seven VINY floats (big orange floating balls) before the traps. There are five traps spaced out over five meters every 50 meters for 150 meters (deep) for a total of 15 traps.

Pulling the buoys onboard is a bit of a pain. We use the pulleys and winch and deckhands to help.

Then we detach each sediment trap and set it aside to settle, until we collect the part of the water we need the next day.

Despite having a broken arm (mountain biking accident) Bernard is excellent at this. Hooray for waterproof casts.

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