July 2, 2009
59° 54.00 N
Pat, Matt, and I were at breakfast by 07:15 so we could finish in time to sample the 08:00 CTD. 10 bottles for small-volume thorium and 3 more for POC and we were back in the lab. After "spiking" the small-volume samples with the necessary reagents, they were set aside for one hour while the POC filtrations were started.
Just before we turned on the vacuum pump for the thorium bottles, the coring team delivered bad news. David Shull came into the main lab and informed us that they were unable to extract cores from this site and they would try again at the next station, 91-MN10. This was unfortunate because whenever possible Pat and Matt like to correlate their data with that collected by the sediment core team. Since we would not be able to finish our filtrations in enough time to repeat the process at the next station, we dumped our bottles, cleaned them out, and prepared them for another go around.
Thankfully the coring team came through at 91-MN10. The POC and small-volume thorium samples were finished by 17:00 and it was time for dinner. I was back in the lab 45 minutes later, cleaning and preparing for the next round of samples.
Then I hit the proverbial wall. The weather is starting to take its toll on everyone, myself included. Pat told me when I first got here that the Bering Sea is just a million shades of gray, nothing more. He was dead on. I last saw the sun about two weeks ago and should have appreciated it more. My new definition of a nice day is when I can actually see the horizon through the fog. At least when I was in the Arctic and I did not see the sun for a month I could at least gaze up at the countless stars and waving green ribbon of the northern lights. Here I get no such satisfaction. The 20 hours of daylight serves no purpose when you can't see a thing. Moral would improve immensely if, even for just an hour or two, we could all go outside and soak up a few rays of sun. I already have a chair picked out in the lab that will be going outside with me. I went to bed early. No Lake Wobegon yet.