August 26-27- ICE!

August 26


I changed to the top bunk in my cabin so I can see out the port holes. This morning when I glanced out, I saw small pieces of ice. By the time I jumped out of bed and ran upstairs to the helo deck the ice chunks had gotten bigger. This is not sea ice, it is ice that has calved (broken off) from glaciers or an ice shelf. You can tell glacier ice by the blue-green hues.

During tea time in the mess hall someone called out ice! Everyone jumped up to look out the port holes. It reminded me of when the Northern Lights are out in Fairbanks and your friend calls to let you know so you can run outside to catch the show before it’s over.

Here is some useful terminology for ice:

Brash ice- Broken fragments of ice.

Drift ice- Ice that floats on the surface of the ocean and is moved by currents and wind.

Frazzle ice- A slushy suspension of randomly oriented needle-shaped ice crystals in sea water.

Iceberg- A large floating mass of ice detached from a glacier or ice sheet and carried out to sea.

Ice floe- A large flat pack of floating ice.

Ice shelf- A thick sheet of glacial ice that floats on the sea but is permanently attached to the land.

Pack ice- Pieces of floating sea ice driven together into a nearly continuous, large mass.

Pancake ice- Flat, floating plates of sea ice with upturned edges.

We are transiting to another mooring station traveling southeast in the Laptev Sea heading toward the East Siberian Sea.


Breakfast: fried eggs and bacon

Lunch: vegetable beef soup, stewed cabbage, and salad

Tea Time: cabbage rolls, watermelon

Dinner: turkey fricassee, boiled potatoes, salad

The chunks of ice remind me of clouds, especially when they take the shape of something. Can you find Surfer Dude! Enjoy the Bergy Bits Gallery!

August 27

So, what is that stuff growing on the mooring instruments? It is a type of hydroid (animal). Hydroids grow on hard surfaces such as rocks, stones, shells, floating objects and man-made structures, like mooring instruments!

We are headed a little southeast but staying in the same general area.

It was a busy 14 hours with seven CTD (water samples) casts and 3 net hauls. I will go into more detail about the net hauls later. The CTD casts took place at 9:00 pm, 12:00 am, 2:00 am, 4:00 am, 5:30 am, 7:30 am, and 10:00 am. The CTD casts lasted between 30 minutes and two hours. The net hauls took place at 11:00 pm, 6:30 am, and 10:30 am, and lasted about an hour each. This gives you a fairly good idea of how science team members are working around the clock.

Up until now, TICE and CATS, the Russian and German science teams have been busy with their stations. Now the NABOS team is preparing to do their research which will begin in a few days.

Today, I would like to talk a little bit about the different types of labs. There is a main lab where a lot of the action takes place, and it can get very crowded. Previous posts of lab prep photos were taking place in the main lab. There are four rooms.  When you first walk in, this room is the staging area for casting and recovering CTDs. To the right is a smaller room that hosts the computer and electronics for receiving information from the CTD sensors. During a cast this room gets crowded with scientists and students looking over the monitor’s shoulder and watching the data as it comes up. No talking is allowed in this room during a recovery. To the left of the CTD room, there are two smaller rooms where scientists and students have set up to do lab work. There is limited space, so a lot of sharing is going on, and every nook and cranny is utilized.

Another type of lab is a container lab. Sometimes container labs are set up on land and then loaded on the ship. On the Akademik Tryoshnikov the containers are already on the ship, and scientists set up their labs once on board. There are two container labs being used, one by Marine Biologist Vasily Povazhnyy who is focusing on zooplankton, and the other one is being used by PhD student Andreas Rogge who is also focusing on zooplankton and larger particles. I will talk more about Vasilly’s work tomorrow.

Talk of the mess hall: How wonderful is this! We are in the Arctic eating tropical fruit- pineapple, watermelon, and kiwi! And, the peaches and honeydew taste so good! I wonder how much longer we will have fresh fruit on board.


Breakfast: porridge, ham and cheese

Lunch: vegetable beef couscous soup, breaded cutlet, rice, and salad

Tea Time: Caesar salad, kiwi

Dinner: wiener schnitzel, fried potatoes, and salad