There’s the Hit! Meet the Coring Team

Without our coring team, we wouldn’t be able to do what we came out here to do. We’ve got four coring technicians on the cruise with us – each with a huge sense of humor. Dale Hubbard, of OSU, is in charge of the team. He’s been coring for a while now. He oversees all...

Microbes in the ocean. What do they eat?

Meet Sarah.  No, she’s not a microbe, she’s our resident microbe expert.  Sarah is out with us to look at the microbes that live in the water and try and understand what they eat and how they eat it… Sarah’s work is one of our piggyback projects.  What is a piggyback? That means we had...

How to Amuse Yourself at Sea

What do you do when you’re bored in the middle of the ocean? Well, you can read. You can watch a movie. Or you can do a bunch of things you can’t do on land. For instance….

The Argos are Gone

We put off the last of our Argo floats on December 8th. The big cardboard box floated off into the sea shortly before our last barbecue. An Argo float is a one meter tube with a few specific instruments and a float bladder that fills with oil to control buoyancy. The instruments take CTD measurements...

There is more than one way to core. Meet the multicore!

In addition to our main mode of coring – piston coring or gravity coring (which has been my main job), we are also taking short cores.  We need these cores because the bigger, longer cores need to hit the mud surface really hard to get a good long core. This means they are so violent...

Coring for Cream Cheese

Last night’s cores were very white and very gloopy – so much so that it looks like melted vanilla ice cream or cream cheese. It’s a little hard to sample because it’s so sticky – it even reacts like cream cheese in your hands. Doesn’t taste like cream cheese, though, if Kou’s testimony is anything...

Size Isn’t Everything: Measuring Micro-Cores

Today we split and described the smallest sections of our cores, variously called micro-cores or mud-babies (that’s a scientific term). There’s not much to them. They’re usually all one unit and fairly homogeneous, often because they’re the very top layer of mud from the core. It’s not uncommon for us to cut the long cores...

There is water at the bottom of the ocean. Right?

This cruise is not all mud… For me, this cruise has been all about mud.  Well, almost.  When we wrote the proposal, it was to get mud to look at the past conditions of the Southern Ocean where we are working.  We use the layers of the mud like tree rings to go back in...

Describing Cores: 322 Shades of Gley

The ultimate fate of a core half, whether it’s working or archive, is storage and sampling. The archive cores won’t be sampled until the working ones are gone, but regardless of which half they become, they have to be described before they’re sampled. Describing a core is a little more complicated than just saying “It’s...

Whales and Surveys

Yesterday was a staggering mix of action and boredom. In the morning, we saw another pod of whales – mostly Bryde’s, but at least one fin whale. Apparently whales of different species will pod together. There’s a law somewhere that says ships must change course if their path is to intersect with that of a...