Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Leg two started abruptly

January 23

I had the most relaxing long weekend with my friends in Hobart. We arrived on Thursday the 19th in the morning. Everyone was scaring us with impossible customs, but we managed to go through them very quickly and I was able to get off the ship before my friends’ plane touched down. I met up with my colleague Irina, we went to Customs house – a pub that our long colleague Neale showed to us years ago. My Melbourne friends showed up pretty soon and it was the happiest reunion.
Although I had internet and phone, I decided to stay off my blog to have a complete break from any activities I was doing on board. Sorry everyone, I won’t be updating on wonderful eucalyptus smells, I will jump right on to leg two activities.

We were scheduled to leave on Sunday, January 22, although the time kept changing (which gave me more time with friends and I am really grateful). We finally left just short of midnight, almost on Monday the 23rd. As we were leaving port our ship was directed by an Australian pilot. Half an hour later a small boat came to pick up the pilot and off we went.
As we were late leaving port, we were pushing our luck with getting on time to Macquarie island. On the morning of January 23rd it was first decided to steam as fast as possible to the first island, sacrificing all the marine projects on board. However, the forecast was not favorable to be able to land/do any work around Macquarie island.  So mid-morning on Monday with the help of marine science teams we changed our plans from sacrificing the marine part to catching the good weather and getting some data. We decided to do a CTD station to 1km, together with a trace metal rosette sampling, bongo nets for zoo and phytoplankton and micro plastics nets. Considering this was the first marine station for the new group of scientists, we were really efficient. Actually the fact that we as a new group could convince the chiefs to do a CTD station rather suddenly impressed me the most. We managed to do a station before meeting and deciding on the role of each individual, which is once again quite impressive. Also, I’m happy to report that Irina and I sampled a complete 1km profile, turned on all our en route instruments, and started the underway sampling. I even managed to take a picture of Irina sampling from the Niskin bottles – as you can see the weather is quite nice and we sampled outdoors.
On top of coordinating some of the marine team efforts, I spent my day helping many other projects, particularly new people on board. As flattering as it to have a reputation of a “nice person, who will help you”, it is a pretty tiresome job. Anyhow, I am glad I can help. And I am also proud to say I am learning to say “no”. Today I draw the line on non-science request for chores around the ship, I could only do so much.

There is one more thing I wanted to mention to keep this post from being work-only. It feels so weird to be on a ship with a lot of new people! We got so used to seeing same people every day and now there’s a whole new group of people, who gets lost around the ship. I guess the crew feels that way each time they start a new cruise…

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