Blog Entry Feb 16th 2014

They are going to do some CTD stations tonight and tomorrow, which we are interested in. Brice is thinking about not taking double samples anymore and switching to one sample for each Niskin, meaning we can sample around two hundred depths instead of one hundred with our remaining copper rolls. It will be an eighteen hour marathon, you guys may not believe it but I really welcome the thought of working right now since it is getting a bit depressing away from home, not being able to talk with Fatemeh (my wife) for another 20 days is bugging me, a good work will be enough for another two or three days of resting and sleeping and not thinking.

For the past few days I was watching TV series, watched seven seasons of House, three seasons of Spartacus and three seasons of Game of thrones, the last one was pretty good. I should really pay respect to whoever put all those TV series on the ship share drive.

Last night when I was talking about game of thrones with Brice and that I would have started to read the book it was based on if we had internet, he told me that there is a massive archive of E-books on the share drive and suggested that I take a look at them. The archive turned out to be awesome in every right. Thirty five gigabytes of e-books sorted by type and author and luckily for me it had the series “the song of Ice and Fire” the series which game of thrones was based on. It also has a good collection of science-fiction books, some of them I used to read in Farsi when I was in high school ,I couldn’t bring them with me to US when we moved, now I can read the original books, it will be fun, copied the who archive to my hard disk.


Will keep you guys updated.


Blog Entry Feb 15th 2014

Beside the bug brush everything else stopped working on the ship, the CTD cable had some problems with it so they had to re-terminate the end, which means they had to remake the connection between the CTD and its conducting cable. This means the CTD is out, the glider froze and it took the whole ship to find it and bring it on to deck so that’s out too and the Auto-sub still has power issues. Alex is making the jokes how his instrument is the only thing working on the ship.


Sea-glider with frozen antenna


Good for us we didn’t need any of the planned CTD stations around here, so I personally don’t care that much about their problems but I do understand Adrian, when we started to the cold welding we had a leaking ratio of 80% on the second station it took us around 5 hours or so to fix that thanks to Brice making the call to change the blades on the welding jaw, we started with 1 spare and changing to spare at that time meant if something had happened to the new jaw blades we would have been done for, but Brice still made the judgment call on that and it turned out to be an excellent one. Anyway as I was saying for that 5 hours I felt what Adrian has to be feeling right now, the prospect of the project collapsing and being on the cruise for nothing can crush all morale. I wish best of luck for them.

Will keep you guys updated.


Blog Entry Feb 13th 2014

Not much going on right now, we have 2 PIs for the cruise, Adrian and Karen, Adrian is responsible for the ice melting phenomena happening beneath the Ice sheets and Karen is PI for ocean2ice part which is the one we work on too, tracing the melt water. Right now Adrian is doing his Auto-sub deployment tests which include a 5 hour test run, for a 40 hour mission beneath the glacier.

Autosub deployed

Auto-sub deployed

It seems they made a mistake somewhere and the Auto-sub consumed all its batteries in 5 hour which was supposed to last for the 40 hour mission. They are going to replace the batteries and try again, for their sake I hope it works this time. Their whole project is depending on that. Pretty scary situation for them, having come all this way and not getting anything is a total bust. I am not so sure but I think Adrian once said that it the floating ice part is almost 50 miles deep.

Will keep you guys updated on that.

Blog Entry Feb 12th 2014

Well the work is done, my part was done at 1pm 11th, and this is 4pm 12th right now, I was awake for about 6 hours in the last 27, meaning a good 19hour sleep. Missed all the meal courses, it must be how bears feel after they wake up from hibernation.

Another session like last one and our copper will be over. We still have 5 rolls, meaning around 100 tubes, meaning by average around 10 stations. Last session we did exactly 10 stations. We have 24 days remaining of our cruise and something like 30 hours of sampling so it’s a good time to work on other stuff, like the ADCP data from the previous Arctic cruise, getting the water velocities for my first part of PhD, Working on Arctic stuff almost 140degree of latitude must me some kind of achievement.

I will start working on them after I find some food first.


Blog Entry Feb 11th 2014

We arrived in front of the ice shelf, it was a little bit scary watching the ship moving straight toward a wall of ice, we stopped close enough so we can start sampling, it will be a twenty four hour marathon, we are going to do our sampling on every coming station in the next twenty four hour. Will be a busy day, not much too write about right now, maybe later I add another entry about how it went. It’s time to work.

Wall of ice

Wall of ice


Blog Entry Feb 9th 2014

Finally the weather started to act like Antarctica, I can no longer go outside on the deck for a smoke with a T-shirt, equipment started to freeze, the CTD rosette froze over and they had to wait and do some maintenance on it before redeploying it.

Speaking of cigarettes, I  underestimated my cigarette consumption, I thought I would stay on the usual two day a pack but due to my cabin mate smoking and my own higher rate I ended up using two packs per three days, which is not good since I have only twenty packs with me. I have to ask around to see if they sell cigarettes onboard.

After two days of rest we are approaching our next set of stations, we have to cut some copper tubes and straighten them for the sampling which I believe is the most tedious part of our job, quite boring but it has to be done. It takes about two-three hours to go through a copper roll which supposed to give us around twenty sampling tubes sometimes we get less. We need around eighty tubes for the coming stations.

By the way Brice took so many pictures of their seal tagging adventure, I  am sure he will post a blog with lots of good pictures, last night in the lounge we went through some of the movies they took, it looked fun.

Will keep you guys updated