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Dispatch 23: Bingo, Tournaments, and Feasts

The cruise map of the 19th year of the JOIS/BGOS program resembles a colourful constellation in the Beaufort Sea. (Graphic: Sarah Zimmermann)
Jacques Lefort (darts in hand – he’s probably on his way to a tournament game!) stands with the Arctic Pig. (Photo Gary Morgan)
Peer Klattenhoff cuts into the pig after determining that it has been adequately roasted. (Photo: Gary Morgan)
Nimrod Rozen was the first to hop into the barrel of polar water. (Photo: Gary Morgan)
The super-soft grey Louis S. St-Laurent hoodies became the unofficial team uniform for both science and crew, worn for most science stations. Pictured are Josephine Rapp (left), Sarah Zimmermann and Susanne Kraemer. (Photo: Josephine Rapp)

Helen Gemmrich

September 14, 2021

Today marks the last science day in the 19th year of the JOIS-BGOS program. Chief Scientist Sarah Zimmermann, added a last-minute surprise rosette station (because you can never have too much science) in the Amundsen Gulf this morning on our way back to Cambridge Bay, but suddenly, we were done. Over 25 science days, we recovered, refurbished, and redeployed three moorings; completed four ice stations, 34 bongo net tows, and 57 CTD rosette casts; picked up two ITP ice buoys and deployed 53 XCTDs as we crisscrossed the Beaufort Sea. We collected over 7,500 seawater samples! But it wasn’t all work and no play: a series of games, tournaments, and side projects kept everyone busy in our spare time. And what better way to celebrate the completion of another year of successful science stations than by roasting an entire pig?

Every few days, new notices popped up outside the main lab and mess halls: Bingo Night. Meet and Greet. Darts Tournament. Science Open House. Cribbage Tournament. Shrunken Cups. Poker Night.

Organizing games and matches around everyone’s rotating shifts was not always easy, but we were dedicated! In the end, Captain Neil MacDonald won the Bingo Prize, Phil Rideout became the Louis’ Cribbage Champion, and TJ Marsh and Steve Keats took the win in a best-two-out-of-three Darts Final. Even outside of organized tournaments and planned poker nights, rarely a day passed without the crew gathering in the forward lounge to unwind with cards and (often live!) music.

Undoubtedly a highlight for Nimrod Rozen was the day he convinced a handful of the crew to do a quick dip in Arctic water. The engine room team even painted a designated “Polar Dip” barrel for the event! Assembled on the helicopter deck in the evening sun, we huddled in our warm layers as the engineers filled the improvised mini-pool with a fire hose. One after another, a few brave souls hopped into the chilly water before quickly heading to warm showers and the sauna, clinging to their towels.

We concluded our last science day with an Arctic Pig Roast (it was soaked in salty water) and science party. Our grill masters Jacques Lefort and Peer Klattenhoff joined the galley team in preparing a veritable feast for the entire crew for one last big get-together before end-of-trip preparations and packing start tomorrow.