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Thursday, 03 January 2008 17:31
Polarstern: Checking for forams on New Year's day
Tuesday, 1 January First day of the year, welcome in 2008! This morning on the ship, the eyes were a little bit swollen, the features looked drawn, movements a were little bit slower than usually… Yes, on the Polarstern, as beautiful as the party might be (and it was!), the respite is short and the scientific work doesn’t wait very long. So, at 10 o’clock this morning precisely, the scientific activities started again. As far as I am concerned, I am lucky: the foraminifera, microscopic marine protists affectionately called “forams”, allowed me to sleep a little lo...
Tuesday, 01 January 2008 06:58
Polarstern: Good catch in the final run for 2007
Sunday, 30 December Lecture room, 10 a.m. “Can you deploy the corer a bit faster?” – “Sure, we try! One point five down is ok.” Time is in short supply, we are nearly at the northernmost point of our western transect at 62°S. To make good use of the workfree period on New Year’s Eve, we would like to steam eastwards during that time. That was a few days ago. The urgent requests of the expedition leader have worked wonders in the meantime. At the end of today, we are several hours ahead of schedule. The switching between the different plankton nets is running like clockwork, and w...
Sunday, 30 December 2007 00:42
Polarstern: Secrets of deep-sea isopods
Thursday, 27 December We are happy. Happy about our successful first step on the way of teasing secrets out of freshly caught deep-sea isopods from 3000 m depth. Which means, we have extracted DNA and after the first successful runs prepared extractions all day long, highly motivated. How we got there: After META, our epibenthic sledge, had brought the samples for us on deck, we divided the sample immediately by weight and live-sorted one-half in the cooling container at 0°C and preserved the other half in precooled alcohol at –20°C. While live sorting we got a first impression of the creatures that awaited us: bristle worms (Polychaeta), amphipods, several forams and, among many other taxa, our target group, the isopods. (By then we were exhausted but ha...
Thursday, 27 December 2007 06:46
Polarstern: Of flights and water samples
Written Wednesday, 26 December The phone in my cabin range at 8:00 this morning – two or three hours earlier than I would normally get up for my noon to midnight shift in the chemistry lab. Normally when the phone wakes me up it’s because there’s a problem with one of our instruments, but today I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. It was the chief scientist calling to say that it was my turn for a helicopter flight, and could I be on the flight deck in an hour. The daily flights are done so that the biologists led by Jan van Franeker (AKA, The Flying Dutchmen) can count the wildlife in the area. They take along one extra person each day to help spot animals and enjoy the view. ...
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 06:44
Polarstern: Warmest wishes and a merry Christmas
Written Tuesday, 25 December, Christmas Day When I woke up this morning and looked out the window snow was slowly falling trough the air. Even though we are located at 67 degrees south in the ice and cold, snowfall is quite rare at this time of the year. Perhaps a little Christmas present form above. As described in the log yesterday, we had a very beautiful and special Christmas celebration, officers, crew and scientists, all together. It’s quite special when everyone is sharing the same feeling, a wish to be home with loved ones at this very day, but still being able to have a very happy and cheerful ...
Tuesday, 25 December 2007 06:42
Polarstern: Christmas Eve
Written Monday, 24 December I look out of the window and I see snow and ice. We will have a white Christmas in the literal sense, except that the days are bright rather than dark and grey like they are at home. The benthologists have a break today, as the “large station” was sampled the day before yesterday and yesterday. Today the planktologists are working, employing a whole array of gear in the water column to collect krill, arrow worms, copepods, salps and other animals for their investigations. Several types of nets are put into the water, such as the multinet, which brings samples from different d...
Monday, 24 December 2007 06:40
Polarstern: Trawling for species
Written Sunday, 23 December The Antarctic summer shows its most beautiful side, the sun is shining out of a deep blue sky, and the water is glittering like a thousand diamonds. I walk up to the uppermost deck and enjoy the warmth of the sun for a little while until the cold wind chases me indoors. We are enjoying a quiet ride of a steady 8 to 10 knots, so for the scientists this is a comfortable day. The quiet after the hectic of yesterday’s benthos station is much appreciated; many people have worked until the small hours of the morning or followed the successful maiden voyage of the underwater video camera from the winch control room. ...
Sunday, 23 December 2007 06:37
Polarstern: A day with water samples
Written Saturday, 22 December A quick cup of coffee, then I am off to work, one flight of stairs down and along a long hallway. The night shift is looking forward to a well deserved time off, I myself sit down in front of the control screens and keep an eye on the sensors in the deep. Every single data point has to be surveyed and protocoled in detail to be suitable for later analysis. The sondes and water samples come back on deck after their journey through 1,000 m of water. Many steps must be taken now quickly and accurately. The details of the processing depend on the fate of the water from the deep dow...
Saturday, 22 December 2007 06:35
Polarstern: A Triceratops in the ice
Written Friday, 21 December What is a Triceratops doing in the ice? It is the logo on one of the containers aboard Polarstern, coming along with seven scientists from the Senckenberg Institute on an expedition! The equipment which the Senckenbergians brought with them on board the Polarstern did indeed fill a whole container: lab equipment, chemicals and sample jars were purchased by Annika Henche and packed into aluminum boxes together with microscopes. The large equipment of the DZMB – epibenthic sledge and multicorer – were tested and made ready for action. The container was shipped from Wilhelmshave...
Friday, 21 December 2007 06:32
Polarstern: In the pack ice
Written Thursday, 20 December 2.3 knots... 2.0..1.9...1.2... 0.0. A glance at the screen in the red saloon during tea reveals it quite unambiguously: we are still stuck in the thick pack ice near Neumayer Station. The courageous Polarstern moves forward and backward and forward again, listing slowly to one side, shaking as if under a heavy burden — again a few meters gained. It is a lovely day, the ice gleaming white under a pastel blue sky, like lightly dropped dollops of meringue — but the nice picture is deceptive. The imposing pieces that Polarstern forces out of the closed ice cover hardly move, a...
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Fri, 07 May 2010IPY Monthly Report: May 2010
Tue, 30 Mar 2010IPY Report: April 2010
Wed, 03 Mar 2010IPY Report: March 2010
Tue, 02 Feb 2010IPY Report: February 2010
Thu, 21 Jan 2010IPY Oslo Science Conference -...
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