September 30, 2016

Sikuliaq week 3 recap: the home stretch

Posted by larryohanlon

This is the latest in a series of dispatches from scientists and education officers aboard the National Science Foundation’s R/V Sikuliaq. Read more posts here. Track the Sikuliaq’s progress here.

By Kim Kenny

We’re on the home stretch! Much of the scientific equipment has already been packed and the mood has changed from a final scramble to squeeze every bit of data out of ship time as possible, to a subdued transit lull in which people are catching up on sleep, tying loose ends, and coming to terms with wrapping up this 28 day cruise.

 

Sunrise Saturday morning

Sunrise Saturday morning

 

This week included a couple lows and a lot of highs. Yesterday was one of the highs – we got to play in the ice. The ship stopped and three crew members (Ethan, John Hamill, and Paul) took the still unnamed shore boat (favorite: Biscuits ’n Wavy) out to an ice floe less than 100 square meters in size off the starboard bow. Ethan wore a harness attached to the boat and used what’s essentially a large stick to test the thickness and sturdiness of the ice. Then he and John stuck orange flags in the ice to establish a perimeter. They let off a couple rounds of the flare gun to test it out. After a few more crew had a chance to take a look at the floe (it was a good chance for crew to brush up on training), the science team was given a safety briefing and we went out in groups of seven (four scientists, three crew) to play on the ice.

 

Prepping the small boat just after sunrise Saturday morning

Prepping the small boat just after sunrise Saturday morning

 

The ice floe we visited

The ice floe we visited

 

Paul, John Hamill, and Ethan testing the ice

Testing the ice

 

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John French and Elliot on Biscuits ‘n Wavy

 

 

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Laurie, Miguel, Paul, and I took a second trip on the small boat to collect dirty ice for Miguel.

Laurie, Miguel, Paul, and I took a second trip on the small boat to collect dirty ice for Miguel.

 

Collecting dirty ice

Collecting dirty ice

 

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The 100th CTD cast at 4am on Friday. From left to right: Ethan, Laurie, Miguel, Kylie, Carrie, and Aaron.

 

Where we’ve been and where we’re headed. The green shape is the ship.

Where we’ve been and where we’re headed. The green shape is the ship.