By Carin Ashjian for The Arctic Winter Cruise 2011
There is a sense of anticipation in the air. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we will be observing it, even though we are at sea in the Arctic. As luck would have it, we have a couple of long transits between stations to accomplish tonight and tomorrow so everyone will have a chance to relax a little and catch up on samples, record keeping, and data analysis, and watch football.
We just finished sampling along the “DBO line”. This is a line of stations located in the Chukchi Sea just to the south of Barrow, AK. An international group of scientists has been sampling across this line of stations when in the region with an oceanographic ship. The Healy has already sampled across the DBO line twice this year. Other ships and projects, including some of my work near Barrow, also have sampled the line. Together, by sharing the data, the scientific community gets an understanding of temporal changes in this sea through the summer and fall seasons. The November 22-23 sampling of the DBO line is the latest such sampling in any year and the only sampling to occur during early winter. We are eager to compare what we found with the data from the earlier sampling.
Sampling has been easy in the relative calm of the sea ice. Here the wind does not create large waves and swell because the rigid cap of sea ice extending over the ocean surface prevents this. As we start to move further south, we will leave the protection of the sea ice and enter open water that can be a much rougher place to work. We expect to leave the ice sometime tomorrow or Friday.
Things are going well! We’re collecting interesting and exciting data and samples with relative ease, particularly considering the conditions. Everyone is working hard to make sure that this cruise succeeds.
By Carin Ashjian for The Arctic Winter Cruise 2011, WHOIExpeditions http://arctic-winter-cruise.blogspot.com/2011/11/sample-sample-sample.html Thursday November 24th, 2011