Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) Cruise
January 5 - February 26, 2002
January 26, 2002: Day 22
Ship: 66 28.2588 S, 171 53.7978 W
So. Patch In Drifter: 66 26.7888 S, 171 53.094 W
So. Patch Out Drifter: 66 37.71 S, 171 46.5234 W
R/V Revelle Log Entry: Hi all.Our good weather luck continues. After the good blow yesterday, things have laid down and the sea has been quite nice today, wind is less than 5 knots. Weve had snow flurries on and off and todays high was a blazing -0.6C and the low was -1.6C.Not much excitement in the temperature, and there wont be as long as were sitting on top of -0.5C water. Now when its that cold and cloudy, you might think that the phytoplankton will never grow, but were actually getting as much light (we call it PAR or Photosynthetically Available Radiation, but, hey, were scientists) as they were in New Zealand at the height of the summer. Nights only a couple of hours so those little phytoplankters can make hay all day.
We finished adding iron to form the 15x15 km patch. We added about 400 kg. The picture shows the tank at mid-morning, its all gone now.If all goes right, we might grow several million kg of phytoplankton, they dont need much iron, just trace amounts. But the concentrations out here are a few parts per million of a part per million. No iron and the phytoplankton cant make chlorophyll (and a bunch of other things). So were expecting quite a result.With the low temperatures, it may take them a few weeks to grow, but we and then the MELVILLEand the POLAR STAR will be here for a month. Plenty of time. Were really pleased about the spot that we picked.Despite yesterdays blow the patch has only moved a few kilometers.That should make it easy to track for such a long time. Now we just have to make sure no icebergs decide to park on top of our spot.Theyre still out there and we can usually spot one or two.
MELVILLE is still working on the North Patch. We havent heard many specifics, but the fact that they are staying is a good omen.
Jockey and Davey, the cooks, are keeping us well fed. They have 57 people to cook for, plus the dishes each day. And theyre doing great.The fresh lettuce is still holding out so thats a plus, salad for lunch and dinner, plus two or three main courses and about one third of the science party are vegetarians. So far theyve been covering all the bases.But there is a crisis in the galley: were running low on milk! Plenty of cookies "got milk?"
Well, Im late getting mail out and Dan Jacobson, the computer tech on board is probably waiting for me.And there is a SeaSoar deployment going on over the stern. So Im outta here.
- Ken J.