Preparations for the science ahead

4 August 2012

We have been sailing for two days now. On the east of us, on the Greenland side, we pass Humboldt glacier, Greenland’s largest glacier that runs into the ocean. The occasional ice berg has gradually changed into a field of ice floes surrounding the ship for almost as far as I can see. When the fog clears we can see the high cliffs of Ellesmere Island on the left and Greenland on the right.

We have used the past two days to rearrange our space and equipment on the ship so that we can start measuring as soon as we arrive on the spot. We have two containers on deck that have been converted into a far-away-from-home workshop. Ron’s container, about halfway the port side of the ship, was filled with both empty and filled boxed. The empty boxed we will fill up with equipment from the moorings we will be recovering; the other boxes contained batteries, CTDs, and probably a lot more exciting things I have not yet seen uncovered. Rearranging equipment means walking up and down a lot of stairs. There is a fitness room on this ship but I honestly do not think we will need it!

Jo’s container is positioned on the foredeck. Today we invaded the container with CTD equipment that we had so far been testing ‘dry’. We now tested it while attached to the winch to make sure that all the cables are working. With a notebook to retrieve the GPS position and two sets of a ‘deck unit’ plus a laptop for the two CTD systems, this begins to look like an operational lab at sea.

We get meals here three times a day. Normally there is table service, but today was BBQ-your-own-T-bone-steak-day. Complete cows were put on the BBQ! Or, as everything is now compared to the Manhattan since someone used it as reference size for ice islands calving of the Petermann Glacier: steaks the size ofManhattan. Tonight is bingo night, which is apparently taken very seriously here. More about that on the next blog post!

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