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Dispatch 24: The Last Cast

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October 14 Photos
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Joey Wenig

October 14, 2014

This dispatch, mainly photos, is in commemoration of our final CTD/rosette cast of the cruise, taking place later this evening. CTD/rosettes are the bread and butter of oceanographic observation, standard fare for a research cruise. Including tonight’s, we did a total of forty over the course of this trip; some shallow, some deep, some cold, others colder. I’ll admit that I complained once or twice about having to stand on deck at 11 PM to watch a cable disappear off a winch and into black water for an hour (although I had it easy compared to the night watch folks, who did the same thing at 3 AM), or squat in a chilly shack like a farmer milking -1.9 °C water into tiny glass vials with frozen fingers. Overall, though, it was neat to be on the front lines of oceanographic data collection, taking samples that will one day become points on fancy plots (if they haven’t already—lots of data processing took place on board) to further humanity’s knowledge of the earth we inhabit.

I need to mention Sarah Zimmermann. Her nominal role as ‘Data Analyst’ doesn’t begin to get at how much she does onboard. As far as CTD/rosette casts go, she was to the person for any issues or questions or concerns, of which there were many—particularly from us first-time watch standers. It seemed to me that she was always awake and working or, more commonly, showing someone else how to do his or her work. Her patience and calm demeanor throughout were impressive, oddly inspiring, and much appreciated.

Last updated: October 7, 2019

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