Sunday, November 20, 2005
So back on the 17th I had mentioned that the ice blew out in an overnight storm. This gave us the chance to finally get out to one of the closest stations (B) to gather some samples from our depths of interest. This was quite an experience with the winds gusting up to 25 knots and at a steady 15 knots. The air was about 15°F but the wind was pounding us continuously for two hours. The cold is extremely emphasized when you are sampling seawater and your hand and clothes are soaking wet. We were very lucky to have packed many hand warmers, we did not hesitate to break those bears out. The wind was so intense that it did not just cause issues for us staying warm but Kerry and I also had a heck of a time keeping ourselves on station. Continuously running the motor is not my favorite way to ensure that we are in place so we kept back tracking. We started to realize that our motion has been bringing us out of a deep location and into an area where we could possible be dragging one, possibly two, of our $4000 GoFlo bottles on the bottom. (A Go-Flo sampling bottle is a plastic hollow tube with rotating valve ends that close when they are triggered with a solid brass weight. The bottle is then lifted from depth to be collected for analysis.) Our Zodiac is a new rig that has never been taken out before and on this trip we found that we were missing some important equipment, a depth finder. This means that we would not know if we were in the shallow area. We could not attempt to sample under these conditions. So we traded boats with our cohorts from Maria Vernet’s lab and commandeered one of the awesome lab techs from her lab, Austin. He was a tremendous help leading us through our very first time collecting depth samples on a zodiac. We are used to sampling on large ships but this 15ft zodiac is a little more precarious.