Tuesday, 29 January
On my way to breakfast I meet a smiling Svenja. “Looks like a benthic station today!” she exclaims and disappears in the stairwell to the labs. My heart skips a beat. How wonderful!
We start around half past ten, I run a multicorer, the winch control room is humming with happy busy people, outside a bright blue sky spans over a sea of a like colour. The mighty foam-crested swells look beautiful in the sunlight and are not the least bit unnerving anymore.
Together with Annika I lower the gear gently on the sea floor (actually, it is Otto at the winch who does it). It’s looking good. Some time later the multicorer is back – three cores of twelve are filled, several did not close, one is broken into two, several holding structures are twisted – what on earth has happened? “Seen this before around here”, the expedition leader says comfortingly. “Brickhard sediment.”
The box corer is next, and following my intuition, I decide in the last minute to lower it gently as well, and it pulls strongly on the cable when retrieved again. Maybe a huge stone, we all guess jokingly. But no. The result: a sample like in the movies, very fine, soft sediment!
Then it is Angelika’s turn on the bridge, the Agassiz trawl. Will we have another mud party on the aft deck? The cable tension varies wildly, but then we still have high seas which will only lay down toward the evening. By half past nine the trawl is back. Everything was done as usual. When the gear is on deck, we realise that the net is twisted tightly around the frame and in itself, and the fine-meshed inner net is hanging out turned inside-out. Any sample that might have been in there has been completely washed out. Only the small Rauschert dredge caught something, but the something fits into a single Petri dish.
It seems that we fell victim to one of Poseidon’s practical jokes, and that he pulled our leg for a gleeful good-bye. Isn’t that a soft echo of his rumbling laughter I am hearing? Or was is just the stern thruster after all?
Brigitte Ebbe, Senckenberg
Fotos: B. Ebbe
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Thursday, 31 January 2008 08:26
Poseidon’s practical jokesWritten by Polarstern Expedition
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