Transiting to Tromso.


We arrive for boat transfer of the remaining scientists on the 7th of July, from there we are heading to our first station in the Barents sea. After that we are going to steam ahead to try and get to the furthest site up the Barents sea and along the sea ice, sampling at a few stations on route. Then on the way back from the furthest station we will be sampling the in-between sites.

For a bit more information about what we are actually doing on this cruise here is the SAMs article: https://education.sams.ac.uk/news/sams-news-changing-arctic-oceans-cruise.html




Next time I need my wide angle lens so I can capture the whole ship it's that big!
This Arctic Research program is funded by NERC and is affiliated with SAMs, Liverpool University, Leeds University, The National Oceanography Center and as the article above explains,'' four projects cover different aspects of the programme’s goals: the way change in the Arctic is affecting the food chain, from small organisms at the bottom to large predators at the top (the ARISE project), how warming influences the single main food source at the bottom of the food chain (DIAPOD)---this is the one I'm working on, the effect of retreating and thinning sea ice on nutrients and sea life in the surface ocean (Arctic PRIZE) and on the ecosystem at the seafloor (ChAOS).''
These are the scientists that are currently on the cruise with the rest joining us in Tromso...including DKA Barnes who I blogged about a year ago when we put a sea ice camera up near Rothera!
Great sidekick Sian Henley and I participating in the grueling circuits that took place in an empty hold at the bottom of the ship

Heading due North - exciting stuff. Our Speed over the ground (SOG) is actually very slow at the moment as we are taking our time getting to Tromso to save money on fuel and not to get there before the 7th!

Guess where this was taken? Ha yes adjacent to the Northern part of Scotland...it poured down!









 
This is a great place to sit out in the sun out of the wind and watch the world go by. It's very easy to not go outside when you are on a ship as the accommodation, dining room, bar and labs are all inside. I love watching the waves go by and the birds race past the waves and use the ship for lift so I make sure that I have my breakfast outside in the morning and sit outside between doing my various jobs!


A large part of my job at Rothera was to filter water to fractionate plankton...it's the one job that kept me in the Bonner lab until 3am some mornings waiting for the water to drip through the small pore size....now I find myself again watching water run through a filter but this time for fatty acid and pigment analysis..one of the jobs for when I get back to Oban in September!


I am one of the only scientists that is sampling on the way North to Tromso, most people are starting their sampling when we get to B1, the first of many Barents sea sites.  4 times throughout the day starting at 7 am and finishing at 5 pm I sample, in-between filtering I have been trying to finish my microplastics research paper...I hate scientific writing mainly because I am not very good at it so I am persevering and learning to adapt my writing style to the art form that is scientific writing!

      
My most important job on the ship as I see it is LABELING. If I don't label all of the samples that I take correctly and keep a good log of what, where and when then the samples are taken then it will be completely useless. Yes this sounds obvious but I can guarantee that lots of research has been lost over the years simply due to an error in labeling!

Wear green in the office day....these girls get it, here they are preparing their sampling bottles by starting to label everything... who can blame them when they have up to 800 different sample bottles i think it was they said!

Can't wait to watch the ship go into it's natural environment of ice breaking!

Filling the bunkers with oil!
Awoke to the beautiful mountains of Norway just on the horizon!
I'm very happy to be back at sea, as most of you know I'm not very good on land and as I've said before I am so lucky and grateful to be on this expedition. I'm so excited to see icebergs, I miss them....hopefully there will be a polar bear too...that really would be the tip of the iceberg !!!