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Dispatch 21: Ice Station, Round 2

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October 11 Photos
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Joey Wenig

October 11, 2014

A group of us left the comfort and safety of the Louis’ decks and took to the ice today to set up the second and last Ice Based Observatory of the cruise at station PP-7, 180-odd nautical miles west of Prince Patrick Island. Unlike the last, this ice station went smoothly. It helped that we had ideal weather (for this time of year)—mild temperatures, light winds, and just enough snow falling to set the mood. Visibility in the morning was good, and Rick Krishfield and John Kemp were able to get out in the helicopter for a recon flight right after breakfast. They checked out a large floe directly starboard of the ship and quickly deemed it fit for work. Anyone deploying one of the IBO buoys was flown out immediately with their gear so they could get started. The rest of us waited while Captain Marc Rothwell and Chief Officer Rod Strowbridge considered lowering the gangway, which they eventually decided against because the ice alongside the ship was too broken up to be safe. Instead, helicopter pilot Chris Swannell shuttled the rest of the ice-goers out over the next half-hour.

Both the IMBB and ITP were nearly set up by the time I made it off the ship, and the O-Buoy was well on its way. It was a great overall team effort by Wes Halfacre, June Marion, Mike Dempsey, John Kemp, Meghan Donohue, Jeff O’Brien, Cory Beatty, Rick Krishfield, Leo Rose, and Justin Dalley on polar bear watch.

Meanwhile, on the other half of the floe, Seita Hoshino, Yasuhiro Tanaka, Alek Petty, Sam Thomas, Sarah Zimmermann, Pat Kelly, Sigrid Salo, Robyn Edgar, and Yusuke Ogiwara were hard at work taking snow and ice measurements and collecting ice cores.

On-ice work was wrapped up and everyone was back on the Louis by around three thirty, a far cry from our late finish last Sunday. We had time for an evening CTD/rosette cast at PP-7, and then continued on our way! We’ll have a shot at recovering an ITP in the next day, but apart from that it’s nothing but station hopping for CTD/rosette work from here on out.

Last updated: October 7, 2019

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