Welcome! My name is Masha, I am one of the scientists in the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) on board an icebreaker Akademik Tryoshnikov. Our science project focuses on investigating sources of the recent freshening of the Southern Ocean. As such, we study both atmosphere and ocean. I am also following in the footsteps of my grandfather, Vitaly, who was a scientist with the Fifth Soviet Antarctic Expedition (5th SAE) back in 1959-1961.
This blog reflects my personal experiences.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
I am writing this text in the middle of Drake Passage. Somehow this means a lot to me – I remember looking at the world map as a kid – Drake Passage was one of the first names I noticed. I guess it was one of the few titles I could actually reach and read as it was at the bottom just above Antarctica. I never thought I'd get to sail here...
We have been working really hard collecting ocean data from the Southern Ocean and now the Southern Pacific. We had on average at least one CTD station per day. This translates in collecting a lot of ocean water into small bottles, labeling and organizing them. I go up and down the stairs with boxes and bins full of bottles quite frequently now – getting new ones for the future samples and putting away the full ones into cargo containers. I get a lot of comments on my “bottle clicking sound”. I have to say that to me personally the clicking bottle sound associates with a alcoholic collecting empty bottles every the morning in order get a some money for recycling and get a small “morning” drink (опохмелиться). My colleagues tell me the sound reminds them of the milkman coming to their house every morning on milk deliveries. I like their association much better!
Working so hard made us all feel like a team, which is a good feeling. Yesterday we had a station right after dinner around 8pm and then another one at 5 am in the morning. Most of us did not sleep in between, as it was about midnight when we were done sampling, we advanced the clock again and going to bed seems like a stupid idea. After the early morning station and watching the sunrise together we all went to bed – it was funny how we were wishing each other good night around 10 o’clock in the morning.
We are much further North now, so we have real darkness once again. We were working tonight through the night again and it was pitch black. I wanted to take a picture of It, but nothing came out. Such a weird sighting after the perpetual daylight. I have to say polar days are my favorite, you can choose your own schedule and it is pretty outside all the time. I miss polar days!
We only have a few days left in leg two, we are due to arrive in Punta Arenas on February 22nd. With the cruise report due and some repacking to do I am not sure how much I will be able to post to the blog. I will try to update from Punta! I am also expecting to have internet access for a couple of days, so I will be able to read comments from people (I hope there are some comments ;)))). Also recommendations on what to do in Punta Arenas are very much appreciated!