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Dispatch 4: A Wayward ITP and a 1969 Door Handle

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Hugo Sindelar

September 9, 2018

My day started with some excitement this morning as I was locked into my room for the better part of forty-five minutes.  When I arrived on the boat, my door handle took a bit of effort to open from the inside of my room.  I didn’t really think much of it, but it did seem to be getting worse and worse with every opening.  As I went to bed last night, I figured I would let a member of the crew know in the morning to have it repaired.  However, upon waking up this morning, I couldn’t open my door!  No amount of effort was working, and even my best MacGyver impersonation with credit cards and small screwdriver proved fruitless.   I figured someone would notice me missing from the deck and come find me at some point, but to pass the time, I started banging loudly on the door when I thought I heard people in the hall outside.  I also knocked on the wall I share with my neighbor.  Thankfully, Matt Miller (our zooplankton expert from yesterday’s dispatch and my neighbor) heard all the racket and got a member of the crew who opened the door (which was easy to do from the outside).  The story has made its way through the boat and I have gotten a good-natured hard time from a few crew and science members.  Kirby Vacher, the Winchman, did let me know that the door handles on the ship are the originals from 1969 and they have had trouble with others, so I don’t shoulder all the blame for my morning “adventure”.

After I got a late breakfast, the morning continued its fast start with the recovery of a wayward Ice-Tethered Profiler (ITP).  This ITP was originally deployed quite a bit further north in the Beaufort Sea.  Over the course of the last year, it migrated south into the Amundsen Gulf.  The recovery involved the use of a small boat to tie a rope to the buoy of the ITP.  It was then brought aboard using both a winch and a crane.  The buoy is attached to 800 meters of cable that had to be brought on board and wound up.  The operation went smoothly, and we finished around 11:30am.  Just in time for dinner (lunch to most of you).  Dinner after all is called supper on the boat. 

After the first buoy recovery, we started steaming towards our next science station, CB-1, but taking our time as we had some company with us.  One of the primary duties of the Canadian Coast Guard is to provide ice escorts to commercial vessels.  The High Progress requested an escort a few days ago and since we are headed in that direction, the Captain agreed.  She was with us most of the day until we cleared two ice patches then we parted ways. 

After supper, it was time for the second ITP recovery of the day except for on this one only the surface buoy and instrumentation had survived its year at sea.  This made things a lot easier as the Chief Officer Alex Gosselin launched the smaller boat we have with a few crewmembers and Jim Ryder from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  They quickly recovered the buoy to bring a close to science operations for the day.  Then it was time to relax with some football and baseball in the lounge.  More science tomorrow!

Last updated: October 7, 2019

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