At last we are here, I can see the main land of Antarctica, we have stopped sampling for a few days since other activities on the ship requires the ship to stop, deploying the AUV and seal-tagging. I will briefly explain each of them.
I am very interested in the AUV, it supposed to go under the ice and gather information on how the melt water forms there, quite a high tech vehicle. It has lots of instruments to observe the mixing phenomena and the bathymetry beneath it. Last time they deployed it in 2009 it got stuck and thanks to some good coding on its path finding it managed to free itself, this time they hope the AUV journey goes even better and the vehicle gets back unscratched.
On the matter of seal tagging, Brice and Bastian volunteered to go to the islands nearby to help the seal tagging team, making a 4 man team. I also volunteered and tried to get on the team with lobbying with my cabin mate, Simon, who is part of the seal tagging team. He was alright with taking me but it turned out he was not the one calling the shots on who to take. I envy Brice on this matter I hope he takes lots of pictures, I wanted to take some funny pictures with Penguins and elephant seals, but one can’t always get what one wants. I will upload some pictures when they get back.
Anyway, right now I am staying in my cabin watching some random TV-series, quite boring considering the alternative would have been helping with seal tagging.
Will keep you guys updated
We are through the first quarter of our trip and everything is going as planned, from the work perspective, our cold weld method is working and we are sampling as much as we can – until we run out of copper, that is, and for the trip itself it has been Living up to its hype.
The scenery is captivating, not much wild life though but watching icebergs on the horizon and a twenty four hour sun is for sure a new experience. The first few days for me, who has not been on an ocean cruise before, were hard because of the waves and ship motion throwing me around while I slept but now that we are surrounded by sea ice there are no such waves and I hardly feel the ship motion.
Calm sea, sea Ice and a Iceberg
About the work hours we decided not to do shifts because of irregularity of when our sampling stations come along, it turned out to be a good decision as we are enjoying the cruise and doing the work at the same time.
The cold weld method turned out to be a success albeit a very sensitive one to the human element, we are still tweaking with it, we started out at 60% success ratio and right now we are around 90%. Small things can make a huge difference like how we hold the tubes or how long we apply the pressure to the weld area. Hopefully we should be able to iron out the minor problems and get to 100%.
Will be uploading more of these entries.
We’ll be aboard the RRS james clark ross for almost 6 weeks!!
If you want to see what we see, check out this link for the JCR webcam
Hello dear readers
This is my first entry to this blog, as you can you get from the title we are preparing for our cruise to Antarctica, this would be my first cruise. These are stressful times for both me and Brice, We are making our final checks, making diagrams amd buying last minute stuff (sometime over doing it a bit as you can see)
just 1 of those plastic bags with the connectors in them would have been enough for us but we don’t know for sure so why not buy all of them to be sure. Like today we just noticed that we didn’t send Teflon tapes with our gear which we packed so carefully about 2 month ago, and without Teflon tapes we couldn’t connect some of our stuff, Imagine the whole project would be in jeopardy because of Teflon tapes, that’s how things can go in Antarctica, No Home Depot, No amazon , no overnight delivery. That is the main reason we are so panicky right now.
There are also personal reasons too, Like for me, I have never been on a ship for 6 weeks before add that to being on polar regions and well, lets say things may not go that smoothly.
But all in all, I am extremely excited to be able to see the Antarctica for the first time.Will keep you guys updated.
Wish us luck
Over the past year we have been working on an Arduino based conductivity, depth, and temperature sensor which can be deployed in remote locations. It is currently still in development, but we decided that it would be a good idea to give back to the Arduino community which helped us get this far, by creating this blog. Over the next couple of months we plan to continuously update this blog and finish the project, so keep checking back for more updates!