Catching up from sampling

Hello Out There! I know – It has been a long time. And I’m sorry, but I’ve been sooo busy! I don’t even know where to start – what day was what – everything has just been crazy.

I think I’ll start with the Adelie Coast. We’ve had such a few beautiful days while we were there. I took several pictures of sunrises, and ice bergs. We could see the coast of Antarctica – it was pretty amazing.

Finally my big day arrived.  I was scheduled to sample the 3 core of the Adelie site, I patiently wait while the A core and B core were drilled, praying that ice bergs would keep their distance. We already had to break a few times to wait for ice bergs to pass. You never know which way they are going to go, so when some comes close, we have stop operation and get ready to move if need be. Luckily we were always able to keep going without having to move. Finally my time came!

Let us recap: I’m sailing as the microbiologist and my goal is to study the microorganisms that live within the sediments of the sea floor.

The first core came up a little before 6am – but it was what we call a “water core.”  It is the result of miss judging the water/sediment line.  It happens often. The next try we got it for sure. And boy was it beautiful. My friend Rob was kind enough to take some pictures of me in action….. what do you think?? There is my big smile – excited to start sampling!

And here is me working with Chad, telling him which part of the core I want. It’s a long core – about 10m, and it took us hours to chop up into little pieces. Note that I’m not wearing a coat – that quickly changed. The room that the core is cut in is normally pretty warm – but not that day. It took about 24 hours to finish getting everything sampled and stored correctly. And boy was I tired. But I couldn’t sleep for long! The weather was still beautiful, and the captain had decided to take us below the Antarctic Circle!!! The Ice bergs on that day were outstanding!

The forecast did call for stormy weather so we had to go a bit off shore to protect ourselves from the dangerous ice bergs. Which brought us to the off shore site U1359 – the second site that I was schedule to get samples from. And you can’t control when things happen, so of course my core was drilled only two after I went to bed. So I had to get up and start again. It was a very long day (34 hours long!) But it so worth it! Now I have samples from a two places that have never been sampled before, and probably will never be sampled again.

And now I have just about caught up on sleep – but not the work. Now that I have my samples, I need to start studying them. I want to estimate how many cells are there, and what the chemistry of the sediment and the water are like. This will help me to understand how the microorganisms are living down beneath the sea floor…. Better get to it! Later!

 

Oh  but check out me looking goofy in this week report video : http://www.youtube.com/user/OceanLeadership