Martine, Tuesday 21 October 2008
Sunday 19th October, 10 pm
I’m outside by a nice clear night, writing from the hammock set up out of my cabin. It is the end of the weekend and there are not many people awake onboard… apart from Alex (the third mate) and Kevin (watchman) at the bridge to check there is nothing in our way and everything is working fine.
It’s Sunday evening, however there is no real weekend onboard as we are sampling everyday. This weekend was especially busy with a deep sampling, down to 5150m on top of the normal 2 stations. We even ran out of containers to collect the extra samples and had to use the collapsed carboys.
This supplementary collection means for Jeremy and I about 290 litres of seawater filtered instead of the usual 160 litres per day, and about 20 extra slides to look at during the day… But it also means souvenirs as we sent down a team of expanded polystyrene cups attached at the top of the rosette sampler in socks (special thanks to Glen and Jeremy who provided the socks).
At 5000m the pressure is about 600 times that at the surface and our valiant team was shrunk to a fraction of their previous size – this also meant that our swift marker-pen cartoons were rendered into finely detailed pieces of art.
Busy and fertile because most of the samples we collected over the weekend were really nice, and quite distinctive and thus worth having! We also had a nice barbecue-style party on the deck in the evening to relax and enjoy.
After dinner in the very dark night (no moon) some of us had the chance to observe bioluminescence (pictures to come later if we remember a camera next time) around the ship, the best observation spot was at the bow on the forecastle. The galley telegraph subsequently carried rumours of nocturnal entertainments near the kitchen (I’ve no idea what that was about, honest)…
Martine 11.13°N 32.06°W