PS93.1 Weekly Report No. 3 | 13 till18 July 2015
Two more research days and a thank-you-very-much to all of you
Monday, 13 July. Station work within the ice is finished, we are steaming towards the ice edge, about 100 nm ahead from our station.
Monday, 13 July. Station work within the ice is finished, we are steaming towards the ice edge, about 100 nm ahead from our station. Progress is slow due to thick pack ice, and we need the entire day for transit. Thus, Monday’s highlights are not related to any scientific activities, but this makes them even more exiting. First, we have an excellent poppy-seed cake for the coffee break at 03:30 pm – many thanks to the galley team and especially to our baker Gerald Golla! Second, just a few minutes later (03:50 pm): “Abandon Ship Drill“, a test maneuver with the lifeboats only for the crew, but an “event“ for the scientists who follow the actions in safe distance from the Peildeck.
Tuesday, 14 July. Early in the morning, closely after midnight (00:30), we reach our next station, since long time the first again outside the ice. During the day, we have four – more or less successful – geo stations. The situation in the geo lab becomes a little bit more relaxed: No more kastenlot (but who knows?). Our oceanographers Olaf and Wilken are also in a good mood. Using the zodiac, two “sea gliders” are successfully deployed (Fig. 1). These torpedo-like looking instruments (Fig. 1) are able to actively dive up and down and measure temperature, pressure and salinity. When the torpedo is at the surface, data can be transferred to the AWI via satellite connection. In a month or so, after the torpedos have done their job, they will be picked-up during another expedition into this area.
Wednesday, 15 July. It’s there, the last station day, the end of our research program!! Once again, one final station with all gear, CTD, multinet, giant box corer, multicorer, and gravity corer (final decision: no kastenlot – rapt smile in some/most faces!?!). Having a smooth end of the research activities without further new mud onboard, a 12-hours hydrosweep survey is the absolute end of the PS93.1 research!
Thursday, 16 July. The PS93.1 research is over, yes, but this does not mean that all work is over – not at all!! Now, packing, cleaning, writing, reporting, packing, cleaning, cleaning, packing, etc. are the major points on our agenda for today and tomorrow - what a “wonderful“ engagement for the final two days! Of course, these activities are absolutely necessary at the end of an expedition, but we only have less than two days to finish all this work due to the short final transit to Tromsö. At 10:30 am a short break: Captain and chief scientist have invited for a short farewell reception in the Blue Saloon, the traditional Final Reception to say “thank-you-very-much“ to crew and scientists.
Friday/Saturday, 17/18 July. Island ahead (Fig. 2)!!! Tromsö is coming closer and closer! We slowly steam into the Tromsö Fjord, passing snow-covered mountains at port and starboard side, and the sun is shining. A beautiful weather for arriving in Tromsö! Most of us are on the Peildeck enjoying this fantastic scenery (Fig. 3). At 10:30 am, we are at the Breivika-Pier, about two hours later than originally planned. This is the end of our “Expedition Polarstern“, and time to say a few words of “thank you very much“.
As chief scientist of this expedition, I would like to highlight that the success of this expedition strongly depended on the excellent cooperation between crew and scientists, and this in all situations, as well as during day and night. For this strong support throughout the entire expedition, I cordially thank our Captain Wunderlich and his crew!! Many thanks also to Lars Vaupel and his HeliService Team. The helicopter flights have been an important component for planning our daily research activities. The ArcTrain students having very different background knowledge (i.e., geology/ paleoceanography, oceanography, modeling), have been so active all the time helping in all our biological, oceanographic and geological working groups on deck and in the labs. Without their help we had certainly not been able to take and handle so many biological and geological samples. Thanks a lot to ArcTrain!!! Of course, I also would like to take the opportunity to thank my/our GeoTeam who handled all the many metres of gravity and kastenlot cores, giant box corer samples and multicorer tubes etc., without any grumbling and snarling. At least I myself had the feeling that besides all the hard work they still had some fun with the mud etc. One person out of the GeoTeam, however, I would like to mention here finally. It’s Micha Schreck who not only led the activities in the main geo-lab but also was the „Frachtbeauftragter“, i.e., he was responsible for all the hundreds of packing and freight lists that had to be filled in at the end of the expedition – what a boring (but important) job! Many thanks to you, Micha!!
Again “Das war’s – that it – it’s all over now“. Expedition PS93.1 is coming to its end. Ee have sailed 2427 nautical miles together onboard Polarstern (Fig. 4), have become a team, a successful team. Now, we separate, go home in different directions. I wish all of you a good and safe trip home. See you again sometimes, somewhere, in Bremerhaven, Bremen, Montreal, China, ..... or onboard Polarstern? Goodbye, Au revoir, and Auf Wiedersehen!!
For the last time during this expedition, kind regards to all our friends and families at home from the Polarstern, also in the name of all cruise participants,
Ruediger Stein (18.07.15)