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Dispatch 27: Last Station

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October 14 Photos
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Mengnan Zhao

October 14, 2015

Today marked the last of all our CTD stations and I was lucky to be a part of the final cast. We have taken 70 water-column profiles (casts) during this cruise and a total of 1502 water samples. Unlike the ice stations and mooring deployments and recoveries, CTD/rosette casts have been a non-stop activity – the ship steams from station to station, day and night. We did this with a day watch (Mike Dempsey (Lead), Celine Gueguen, Christopher Charles and me) working from 12 pm to 12 am, and a night watch (Hugh Maclean, Sigrid Salo, Edmand Fok and Jen Reeve) from 12 am to 12 pm. Sarah Zimmerman, as the Data Analyst of the team, was always around to offer help, from assessing strange-looking figures, to problems with the CTD, to helping out with the sampling, and spreading joy with her big smile. The day watch team are the people I interacted most closely with; I felt lucky to be part of this team and fit in almost immediately. I am sure I did complain when we encountered crazily close stations without much time to rest or eat, and about the tension of triggering bottles from my position at the computer, but I enjoyed my work in the rosette lab. I will not forget Sarah considerately covering my job while I stayed on the fore deck in the freezing temperatures for over 4 hours; Mike (like our amiable dad) secretly completed all the labels for me so that I had some rest time while he was working non-stop for the entire day; Celine brought me hot drinks and accompanied me with great conversations and interesting stories; Chris told funny jokes that made the long cast seem shorter; Kenny who was not on our team but always came with his exciting rock music to help us sample … I would miss all of this when I am home.

Acknowledgement should also be given to those sample analysts who worked day and night in their labs after the water samples were collected – Kenny Scozzafava for oxygen, Marty Davelaar for dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity, Michiyo Yamamoto-Kawai and Mika Hasegawa for alkalinity, Deo Florence Onda and David Walsh for DNA/RNA, Sarah Ann Quesnel for nutrients and Christopher Charles for radioisotopes.

A drifter with a GPS was also deployed later in the day by our Chief Scientist Bill Williams and Rick Krishfield. With strong winds and fast currents, I lost track of the drifter almost immediately after it was in the water.

Last updated: October 7, 2019

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