Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Windy Sampling

When your schedule is disrupted by storms, like we saw yesterday, you jump at the chance to make up the sampling. Today the Winds slowed down to a steady 20 knots and only gusting to 25, so we jumped out in the zodiacs to grab our samples. Keep in mind that 20 knots is the limit for allowing zodiacs to go out with gusts not to reach above 25. So we were just at the line.

For this trip out we took an extra set of hands (John Dacey) to help drive the boat into the wind while Kerry and I do the sampling. This is totally necessary once we reach station B due to the benthic topography. We were headed out to Station E with a big white line across the horizon. As we got a little closer we could see that Station E was completely obstructed by thick brash ice and we had to turn around.

Sampling at Station B made us very happy that we had brought John to steady the boat. We stopped on station, swapped drivers and changed some of the positions of our gear. Within this 3min period we had drifted 500 ft. The wind and waves made every aspect of the sampling event an adventure. The boat is rocking and the person tending the Go Flo bottles legs’ are dipping in and out of the water, while waves are inviting themselves into your lap. This sampling was a bit on the hairy side but was a lot of fun to experience.

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