Published: June 26th 2012
June 26th 2012
It’s just over a week and a half since we left Ponta Delgada, and we are settling nicely into a routine. We are traveling back and forth from areas of suspected high biomass, to areas we think have been infected by viruses, sampling along the way to see if we can catch the interesting stuff. If you take a look at the route the Knorr has sailed in the past few days (http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=8581) you'd probably think we have a problem with the navigation system, or that someone on board has a drinking problem. But no, all it is, is us trying to find 5 micron cells inside an ocean. But we are starting to see very promising initial results, so we're modifying our sampling and analyzing regime accordingly.
Between sampling and experiments, we do have some free time, and we try to spend it wisely. Some of us (not me, of course!) catch up on some sleep while analyzing data. There is a TV room, with loads of movies to watch, although I think this isn’t the preferred pastime as the room is usually empty. Last night there was a Soccer
game in the main lab, luckily there we no fatalities to the players or the equipment. The night before that we tried to remember how to play Jumping Jacks (What the Israeli’s call Five Stones), but we didn’t have stones so we used filters, of course.
We spend a fair bit of the time outside, looking for whales (we’ve been very lucky and have had a few Humpback whales pass by in the past few days), or just chatting outside while looking at the sea.
There have been a few very interesting conversations about almost every topic you could think of. Here are a few selected ones:
· Do you have any sea water left over?
Funny question to ask in the middle of the ocean, but for us it makes sense.
· Where does the word “Carboy” come from?
A carboy is basically a Jerry can used to incubate and transfer water. Apparently the word originated from Persian, where “Karabah” means “big jug”.
· When you sleep, is it better if the boat rocks from side to side or from head to toe?
The jury’s still out on that one.
· Where are we?
Seems like a stupid question, but it does make sense. Unfortunately, there aren’t any street signs out here, and we all want to know if we're at a station termed “Da Hole” or the one called “Da Hump” implying to the biomass in the water.
· Where should we go to tonight?
Not that we have any options, but that doesn’t stop us from making big plans.
This is probably my favorite:
· Do whales pass gas?
I think all biologists want the answer to this one.
It’s now 11pm, and I have to be up before our 5am cast, so I’ll be off.