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Journals 2004/2005

Laurelynn Brooks
Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, Washington

"Investigating the link between alkenones and sea surface temperature"
R/V New Horizon
July 5-23, 2004
Journal Index:
July 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

      13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19

      20 - 21 - 22 - 23

July 16, 2004
Deploying arrays

At 0200 Ida and I trudge out on deck in our black boots to deploy the CTD. We are barely awake. Again Jeremy patiently shows me how to wrap the cable around the cleat to guide the CTD over the side. I titrate some more oxygen samples, while waiting for the CTD to return from the depths. Exasperated, I notice that blue clumps have appeared again in my samples. Ida calmly says, "welcome to science". So I make a new batch of starch solution and boil it for five minutes this time. Luckily the blue clumps disappear and I continue titrating.

At 0325 a flash of light catches my eye through the porthole. I halt my experiments and venture out on deck to see the lightning and hear the thunder. Besides being tired, now I feel anxious, because lightning frightens me and I know that the array is to be deployed early this morning. In fact, Brian is already on deck attaching the strobe to the array. Pacing around, I wonder what to do, so I tell Richard that I am scared of lightning. I really don't know what I thought he would do about it. I hear the Captain consult with Brian. The Captain says that if conditions get bad, we may have to scrub the whole deployment. I see a huge cumulus thunder cell to the west. Brian chooses to deploy the array at 0400 despite the thunderstorms. Taking a deep breath of the ozone saturated air; I don my life jacket, grab my walkie-talkie and man my station at the stern. By concentrating on the line and the depths below, I keep calm amid the flashes, commands, and the flurry and scurry on deck. The array is successfully deployed at 0530.

"Beautiful teamwork" cracks through my walkie-talkie from the winch house.
"Awesome, Captain!"

After all this excitement, I am happy to stare at my colored oxygen samples for the rest of the day. I process over 25 bottles and check the standard, as well. Richard says the data looks good! What a relief!

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