Thursday, November 24, 2005

We are short handed!

We are short handed now.  It is just Kerry and myself.  Paty Matrai lucked out and jumped aboard the Clipper Adventurer, a beautiful cruise ship that was coming through the area and traded rides for a couple of our stranded scientists for a tour of the station for its 190 passengers.  This was a great experience for both sides of the deal.  We were able to talk with people about what it is we are doing here and they were able to learn about a program that does not get much attention.  So now our schedule is much different and we are stretched to the end of our capabilities, but we are still having fun.  
Our day in a nutshell runs like this. We have been getting up at 530 to hit the gym and wake up, but more recently that has been a luxury that we could not afford.  Then on to the lab at about 700 where we start organizing and processing samples left over from the day before.  As sampling time gets closer we switch over into prepping to go out in the Zodiac, this would not seem to be that big of a deal but you have to remember everything you could possibly need, including cameras and some food.  We head out to our first station about 1100 in the morning and collect out depth profile samples.  This takes us about 2 hrs per station.  Lately we have been  only able to sample one station per day.  Our scope is two extreme stations.  One is called Station B and it is located within a quarter mile of Palmer Station.  It is relatively shallow at a max depth of 65 meters.  Station B supplies growth earlier in the season because of its deptha dn location.  The other Station is E, located about 2 miles from Palmer.  This stations unique aspect is its depth at 165 meters and more a continuously harsher wind pattern.  Station E will bloom late in the season and will show different outcomes and activity.  After sampling our stations we head back and Kerry starts her long day preparing samples.  This process takes about four to six hours, filtering, basifying, acidifying, measuring, pouring, it goes on and on.  During this period I get the equipment functioning and start preparing for samples from Kerry and start setting up my isotope experiments down in the RAD VAN.  We are almost always still at it until about 2300.  It all starts again the next morning at 0530.  Well it is keeping us on our toes.  That is for sure.  

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