After our last CTD yesterday(1.8.2014) at 8° 26.52 S 66° E we are heading back to the Wall (equator), the North. Unlike in the far North, there won’t be ice and cold weather waiting for us, but still an invisible line where the Coriolis force changes its sign as well the latitude. There we will have a try und flush the toilet. Again the night’s sky will be more familiar to us from the North. I hope the night’s watch will be in favor of us.
As a memory of southern waters, a lot of Portuguese Man-o‘-wars got caught at the CTD. These purple plastic bag lookalikes had to be removed with great care, as a sting could result in serious pain. This CTD was “a deep one” (the ocean was sampled to the bottom), some of us used this opportunity to get a sample bottle from the deep Indian Ocean to take home.
The conference room (Earlier)
To ensure the high quality of the water samples, every person touching the Niskin bottles (that’s where the water is stored at the CTD) has to wear gloves. This is especially important for those who are investigating organic matter. Even the slightest reminiscent of sun screen can mess up the sensitive measurements. In the conference room, back in the Capital, an inventory of all glove stocks was done. Small, Large, X-Large – the count of each size had to be assessed. Luckily more than half way through the cruise, there is still plenty of latex available to serve the sampler’s needs. Neither is our ship yellow nor are we a submarine, but “All you need is (g)love!”
The engine is still on fire, we are about to enter the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia) and then make our way even further to the North. There will be many more stories to come from my fellow writers. So stay tuned, same time, same station!
by Alex Zavarsky