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Dispatch 9: First station

Birgit Rogalla

September 14, 2020

Science has started! Just after supper we arrived at station AG5 in the Amundsen Gulf. The open water and wind combined to create a slight swell, but otherwise it was a pleasant evening. Although we completed a test cast a few days ago, this was our team's first full CTD deployment and we were all excited.  After triple-checking all the components and preparing the rosette for lift off, we rolled Rosie out on deck. She dunked into the water smoothly and we lowered her towards the sea floor (653 m at this location to be specific). As we stood around on deck, we checked the wire and chatted with the crew. In the distance, we were treated with views of the cliffs of Banks Island, covered in a small layer of snow and with the sun setting on the other horizon.

During a brief lull in the wind, the decision was made to give the zooplankton "bongo" nets a go (due to their shape and material, the nets can turn in to sails in stronger winds). The bongos consist of two cone shaped nets, sitting side by side like bongo drums. They are lowered to a set depth (100 m in this case) and on the way back up to the surface, the nets capture all the little zooplankton. Back on deck, we used a hose to spray off the nets to funnel the zooplankton down in to containers at the bottom of the nets. This evening, it was cold enough that the spray from the hose turned into snow before it hit the ocean below. Zooplankton captured, it was time to bring Rosie back on board and to start sampling. All in all, it was a successful start.

CTD deployment at sundown. (Birgit Rogalla)
The zooplankton bongo nets are lowered off the starboard bow. (Dave Riedel)
Bob Prior runs the CTD winch. (Dave Riedel)