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From January to March 2003, I participated in an Australian research cruise to Antarctica. The primary focus of this research cruise was to investigate the dynamics of the Antarctic krill species, Euphausia superba. These three pages of pictures focus on what life is like on board a research cruise and some of the science activities that were done.
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The Aurora Australis, my home for the next three monthsI am participating in a krill acoustic assessment study being conducted by the Australian Antarctic Division, located in Hobart, Tasmania.A couple of hours before departure, officials bring sniffer dogs aboard to see if anyone is taking any food or drugs that they shouldn't be.
As the departure time draws near, people gather on the Macquire wharf to wish friends and family goodbye.Get the streamers out. Hundreds of coloured ribbons are cast from the ship just prior to departure.
Bye-bye Hobart -- see you in 3 months. Hmmm, I won't see a car or tree in the next three months either.Immediately we deploy a CPR (Continuous Plankton Recorder).A few hours out of Hobart the winds picked up and they stayed that way for a week. Some people hid in their cabins for a week due to seasickness.
My cabin for the next three months. During the latter portion of the cruise we'll need to triple or quadruple up. I'm not looking forward to that.Time for a little party to get your mind off the seasickness and lack of work to do while spending 2 weeks getting to Antarctica. This is the "Catch of the Day" party, featuring Steve N. as a giant krill and Stephane as a coccolithophorid
I came as a lobster fisherman from Nova Scotia.Of course there were a few interesting games to play at this party.Time to keep the oceanographers happy. Throw the CTD into the water and let them play with water samples for a few days.
Although the weather wasn't too fun for the first week and a half, one day it turned beautiful and everyone gathered to observe the first icebergs.
Everyone came out to view all the icebergs and of course a lot of pictures were taken. Whales played in the seas and the day couldn't of been more perfect.
Of course to end a beautiful day you need a sunset. This was at about 11.30pm one nightAnother sunset over Antarctica -- note the mountain on the leftThe Green Flash. I've waited ten years to see one of these, and this one lasted 10 seconds before turning into the extremely rare blue/purple flash that followed as the sun set.
Weekly emergency musters are conducted on board. You must report in full Antarctic clothing since you could be on the deck for hours in the cold.Of course, you are all dressed up and have no where to go during these musters, so they often lead to some interesting post-muster shots.
One muster required the testing of expired flares and other signaling devices.The heli deck is also a good place to get a little exercise outside of the ship's two gyms. Totem tennis in one case and Hacki Sack in another.
Up in the conference room massive amounts of krill are detected on the echosounder. Time to do a net trawl. Over the RMT8 plankton net goes. Our target species, Euphausia superba.In the aft control room we decide from sounder information where to target the trawl to catch superba.
Success! Buckets of suberba in our net.Time to measure the krill to obtain a size-frequency distribution for the acousticsVic helps me measure both the krill's length and width.
We also get a sampling of other zooplankton in our netAn abundance of krill in a trawl gets our voyage leader excited and extra samples are microwaved and served to unsuspecting scientists and crew with a mixed response.
Maya coaches Andreas on the Australian experience of eating "Timtams" with coffee.Step 1: Bite off two opposite cornersStep 2: Stick one corner into your coffee and suck through the other cornerStep 3: Know when to stop as the timtam starts to melt rather quicklyStep 4: Ewww, hands all covered in melted chocolate. Where's the timtam Andreas?
Time for some relaxation in the bar. A rather long game of Settlers of Cetan.The cooks attempt to start a garden in the galley with the tops of plants.Whale spotting on Monkey's Island.
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