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Central California Carbon, pH, and O2 (C3PO) Expedition – Log 1

If we stare at it, it will work. Troubleshooting instruments in the lab.

Central California Carbon, pH, and O2 (C3PO) Expedition – Log 1

And we’re off!

The C3PO expedition is off to a great start! We started off the cruise by testing out our emergency gear, a.k.a. Gumby suits. The struggle to get these suits on was real, but in the end we persevered and all got into them safely!

It has been non-stop action since we left port. We have been conducting 24-hour CTD operations, and we are about half way done with our stations! Above, Emily Bockmon from Cal Poly is helping deploy the rosette. We use these lines ot keep the rosette from swinging too much before it hits the water. The weather the first couple days has been a bit bumpy though; don’t let the pictures above fool you! It looks calm, but it has taken a couple days for many of us to gain our sea legs out here.

Once we collect the samples from the rosette, we bring them back into our laboratory-at-sea and the real work begins. We collect over a hundred bottles at each station, and have to process the collections before we arrive at the next station. Before we can analyze the samples, they need to be brought up to near room temperature by keeping them  in small “water baths,” seen on the left. However, not all analyses are done at sea. Some bottles are preserved, and brought back to shore and analyzed later. On the right, Addie is preserving samples for total alkalinity.

A big part of work at sea is troubleshooting instruments. No matter how much we sweet-talk, praise, or pet our instruments, they will always find a way to misbehave. I guess they, too, get seasick! One of the most effective ways to fix problems is to stare at them contemplatively, and will them back to health.

About Central California Carbon, pH, and O2 (C3PO) Expedition

July 24-29, 2019 – Scientist Yui Takeshita led a cruise on the R/V Western Flyer to observe changes in ocean chemistry along the Central California Coast.