Wednesday, 25 November 2009

End of the section

The first piece of work for the trip was a CTD section from the Falklands to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, to measure the flow around Antarctica (which is about 130million tons per second, or 600 times the flow of the Amazon). This involves lowering the CTD package (the oceanographic equivalent of a weather balloon) to ten metres off the bottom at thirty stations across the Drake Passage. The last two stations took a bit longer to get to than expected due to fairly heavy sea ice, but we got there eventually and finished the section by 3am. Now time to get off night shifts.

Ice at midnight

Ice at dawn

Piling supplies for repairing the whark at Rothera, also some fuel. Not much space left on the back deck.
More sea iceLayered ice from an ice sheet, calved from the large tabular berg that was nearby

Pushing through a dense patch - it was all broken enough to push out of the way, though we are likely to need to do some proper ice breaking to reach Rothera.

Dense sea ice means Snow Petrels (and Chinstrap Penguins) have been added to the bird list. Sea ice is often discolored by ice algae, which in turn is eaten by zooplankton - petrel food. Any bergs that the ship turns over are quickly investigated by the birds. No whale photos yet but 17 Fin, 1 Minke and 1 Southern Bottleneose yesterday. First cruise ship today.

Cape Petrel, always some behind the ship.

1 comment:

USelaine said...

The feather patterns on that Cape Petrel are beautiful, spread across the ice beyond.

Hope you are safe and sound, and look forward to more.