April 23, 2009
A rough night turned into a rough start to the day - according to the Captain, close to 25 foot waves formed from the 40-knot winds in the night! I had to perform a balancing act to get out of the top bunk and prepare for breakfast - you sort of learn to take things slowly and work with the movement of the ship. Unfortunately, my roommate is having a tough time with motion sickness. Mostly cloudy all day today, mixed with some rain and snow. The temperature has dropped below freezing; so going outside requires some of my ECW gear. I like my jacket the most because it has the U.S. Antarctica Program/National Science Foundation patch on it! Very official. I volunteered to help with the "Southbound Transit" water-sampling project. My shift is from 4-8 p.m. and it consists of using a launcher for a probe that records and transmits temperature and depth data continuously until 1,000m. Our team of three does this at each latitude reading change of 6 minutes (i.e. 59 degrees, 0 minutes and then 59 degrees, 6 minutes).
Additional water samples are also collected in the lab and an XCTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) is also launched for each few degrees latitude. Snow was coming down and the temperature is right at freezing when we started, so I make sure that I have my gloves on when we got out on the 01Deck for the work.
I sent out the website that the IT guys recommended for tracking the ship on a NOAA site. The Laurence M. Gould has won the past several years for being tracked the most. I have gotten great feedback about the site and my Dad even says he will track me all the way to Palmer! Check it out: http://sailwx.info - just like that - no "www" or anything else special. Once on that website, on the bottom left hand corner of the main page should be a query box that will ask for a ship's name or callsign - the LMG's callsign is WCX7445.
Bonus question for my students...if we are traveling at 10 knots, what is the approximate time interval between samples for the temperature and depth data collector?