July 3, 2009
59° 54.01 N
I was down in the lab by 06:30 for the 06:45 standard CTD cast into 136 meters of water. Nine depths were selected from the CTD profile for small-volume thorium testing and 4 depths for POC. The thoriums were spiked at 07:48 and filtering began at 08:48. The POCs were run and soon it was time for lunch. The fish tacos put an end to my for day streak of eating nothing but salad and a small bowl of soup for lunch. Resistance is futile. It wasn't totally my fault though as soup was not on the menu today. That will be another three miles on the treadmill when I get back.
Right after lunch Matt and Pat decided to get some sleep and left me in charge. I didn't know whether or not to take this as a vote of confidence in my sampling and filtering skills or whether they are just burned out completely and really needed some sleep. They would be back by 16:00 to ready the traps for their fourth and final deployment and left me with some work. I stopped the remaining thorium filtrations that had not finished at 12:48 and recorded the volume remaining in the ledger. The filters were removed, packaged, labeled, and set in the drying oven. Then I began the POCs from 98-MN17. Two hundred milliliters fractions of each bottle are run through a pre-combusted glass fiber filter until the filtration slows down to a trickle. The filter is then rinsed with filtered seawater, packaged, labeled, and dried overnight. The four depths selected took about 80 minutes to filter.
By the time I finished, I had just enough time to clean all of the bottles and filters before we arrived at the next station, 99-MN18. I went back to the CTD garage to sample 4 more depths for POC and the above process was repeated a second time. I cleaned the bottles again and brought them to the CTD garage because we would have a third round of sampling after dinner. Matt and Pat arrived back in the lab and we set about preparing the traps. The 10% HCl solution was drained from the tubes, then they were rinsed three times with deionized water, and finally filled to the brim with brine. We carried them out to the back deck and headed to the galley for dinner.
After a nice spicy bowl of gumbo it was back to work. The CTD had just returned from its voyage to the bottom and we had 17 bottles to fill, 11 for small-volume thorium and 6 for POC. Halfway through, Pat and Matt went to deploy the traps off the fantail and I finished up gathering the samples with the help of a few gracious friends. I spiked the thorium bottles and set them in the filtration housing just as Matt and Pat returned. Since there were six tedious POC filtrations yet to be done (and we all hate doing them) we agreed to do two apiece. Matt went first, then Pat so he could go to sleep, and finally me. I used the 40 minutes before my turn to start catching up on my journal entries. I had to finish up July 1, and write my entries for July 2 and 3. Thankfully I carry around a little notebook to write things down in as they occur so it was not too hard to recall what happened on those days.
It is now just short of midnight and tomorrow might be another long day. I need to be up by 06:30 for a 07:00 CTD cast so I will be heading to bed soon... maybe after a quick chapter or two from Lake Wobegon.