Today, among other things, we (field party: Janne, Malin, Daniel) retrieved the sediment traps. Which was interesting. Very interesting. Almost more interesting than to deploy them. A quick inspection by the ROV (now functioning perfectly fine, though 30 m amputated) confirmed the depth (8 and 14 m) and position (perfectly located under the ice). The first retrieval try, with brutal scooter force, ended with the realization that it was not possible to lift up an entire ice floe with a scooter, while standing on exactly that floe. Some adjustments later, after contemplating how a looping rope under the ice actually functions, we tried again. This time only pulling one side of the loop, not both at the same time. Miraculously, the sediment traps came in sight, now located right under the hole. While Janne was working out another sophisticated pulling system, Daniel decided to take some initiative and pulled the whole construction out by hand. Quite excited, Janne informed the other two about plenty of shit particles in the traps. In other words: A real success!
Second on the agenda was horizontal net tows under the ice. While Malin and Janne again struggled with the sophisticated rope construction, Daniel escaped that mentally challenging task by getting the ROV ready to film the net tows. First off was the 63 um net, which ended up in serious entanglement all but one time. It turned out to be very suitable as a buoyancy device for divers, as it would hand under the ice like a balloon. Much to our surprise, the WP2-200 um worked like a charm. Several net hauls in 2-4 m under the ice later, Janne’s excitement reached new heights. A thick Calanus soup in the sampling jars witnessed of a very successful horizontal sampling.
Another quick ROV mission connected hole 2 to the more untouched hole 3 (for hole-terminology see the disaster blog from some days ago) for a horizontal phytoplankton net tow to satisfy the filtration camp team.
Eventually the Lønne-suction-pump was deployed for the first time in history. Turned out that electrician geniuses Janne and Daniel had connected all red and blue cables correctly, and without blowing the fuse, the pump worked fine for 10 minutes in 1 m depth, collecting about 10 Calanus in total. Successes everywhere! Oh what a wonderful day!
The base time had a filtration marathon: 9 sea ice cores were eventually melted and went through the filtration unit. As filtration for particulate organic carbon does not work very well in a tent with smoky multifuel oven running on jet fuel, the oven was switched off for a while and Einar used the opportunity to clean it. In addition he continued on the biggest project so far: The construction of a real SAUNA inside one of our scooter garages.
More about this project, and sampling and camp life tomorrow.
Polar bear count: 0, other wildlife: 3 kittywake, 4 snowbunting, 2 ivory gull. Spring is coming to town!
PS: Some clarifications:
We did not loose any equipment (at least nothing of any particular value)… yet. We did not destroy too much equipment either, only minor value.
We do write a blog every day, but usually in the evening, thus it is not published before evening next day.
We do serious research, although it might not always sound like that. For serious reading, read the 10 scientific papers to be published soon.