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 evening together.
To share these special moments brings people closer, something which, aside from creating friendships, has a great value when working together on the boat. Like today, when ice conditions where quite heavy, at least in the perspective of setting a trawl in the water without filling it with pack ice, close teamwork is important. Not only the cooperation between scientist and scientist, but especially between scientist and crew and officers. This teamwork can make a difference.
As has been told earlier we have many different science teams on board with different working objectives. My group is focusing on Krill, an animal with a significant role in the Antarctic food web, the role as a link between the smallest phytoplankton and zooplankton, to fishes, birds and mammals. Also, this is a species that humans fish for and it belongs to the third largest crayfish fishery in the world. In particular our task is to estimate the number of this zooplankton, Euphausiids, here in the Lazarev Sea. To complete this task we trawl through the water column with a big net down to a depth of 200 meters, and to cover the big geographical area we have an intense station schedule with continuous sampling day and night. For a benthologist, who brings up a huge amount of mud from the deep sea floor, a plankton sample may not look like much for the world. Still, with a closer and careful look into the sample it is filled with many different life forms.
For me personally it is my fourth cruise on Polarstern, and still it is just as amazing to join the expedition to Antarctica together with this big group of people. As a biologist it is a Mecca! Having time to work with your own research, but also to see and learn more from other people’s areas, both by following their work on deck and in the lab, but also with the seminars given every evening covering other people’s work, all this surrounded by the stunningly beautiful nature.
Now at this very moment the next station is approaching. Perhaps another present is waiting, this time from the deep.
Matilda Haraldsson, Federal Fisheries Research Institute
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Wednesday, 26 December 2007 06:44
Polarstern: Warmest wishes and a merry ChristmasWritten by Polarstern Expedition
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