Archive for the 'Jozef Nissimov' Category
It has now been nine days since we left dock gate 4 in Southampton, but it feels like we have been on board for months. What used to be an unfamiliar endless labyrinth of corridors and levels is now a well known territory and we already know all the different shortcuts from one part of the ship to another. It appears that the ship has more to offer than laboratory space and storage hangars. It has a stunning front deck where you can view the beautiful stars at night with no light interference, a modest gym from which you can see the sea through several portholes, a sauna, a lounge with wii games, a library with books on ocean and polar exploration and a DVD room with an endless choice of films and incredibly comfortable sofas. All these make the routine job on board the James Cook much more enjoyable. In addition the above mentioned locations are a good place to socialise with the rest of the people on board and let off some steam in the little available time that there is.
Up until a few days ago it was too cold to sit outside on the deck. However we have now started to take advantage of the warmer weather and lack of winds. Two days ago on the way in and out of the Azores we were gathered outside, enjoying the beautiful sunset and getting to know each other. As far as the gym is concerned I find it a very amusing place and it is not because of its small size but because of the feeling you get once you are inside exercising. My favourite item there is the rowing machine which is located near the portholes. When working on it you almost get the feeling that you are actually in a real rowing boat due to the constant rocking of the Cook from one side to another. It makes each exercise in the gym more challenging and this is particular true on the running machine where balancing yourself whilst running appears to be a problem at sea.
The science on board is also going very well. There are 3 sampling stops every day conducted by a spider look alike CTD machine with 20 litre bottles attached to it. This Oceanographic machine gives a profile of the conductivity, temperature and depth of each sampling point we stop at. The first sampling is at 04:30 in the morning and the second is at 05:30. This allows us to sample before dawn and compare the data with the last sampling of the day that occurs around lunch time. It also gives us the opportunity to see who is a morning person and who isn’t. In fact it has been shown scientifically that the trait of being able to cope with little sleep and be happy in the morning as opposed to being grumpy in the morning is actually a genetic trait that we can do little about.
The science we try to do on board is beyond our everyday morning moods. For most of the scientists it is important to take samples in the dark despite the early start. Some biological activities take part only in the dark whilst others only when there is light. This is of great significance when we try to study primary producers such as photosynthetic plankton and bacteria. This daily early start usually allows just enough time to analyse/ filter the samples until the lunch sampling, have breakfast and lunch, and maybe if there is time catch a quick nap. However on average I don’t think that there is anyone on board that sleeps more than 7 continuous hours a day.
So in conclusion, our first week and a half at sea has been beyond my expectations and I am sure that others feel the same. We have seen plenty of marine Life in the form of dolphins, whales, squid and flying fish. We have filtered and analyzed several tons of sea water from different depths. The colour of the Ocean is changing on a daily bases as we sail further south, and everything Else that happens on board in the next few weeks at sea will have to be told in another blog entry.
Live long and prosper,
Posted by: Ella Darlington on Thursday, 21st Oct, 2010