Chukchi Borderland Project

Daily Updates from

our Teacher at Sea


August 20
Quarters are held everyday at 12:30pm.  The whole crew gathers on the heli-deck.  This is the time the Captain talks to his crew to let them know of any changes or future plans.  On this day, we were introduced to the crew along with two new shipmates.  All on board have been extremely nice and helpful not only to me but all the scientists.


Captain MacKenzie speaking with the crew.

Rebecca (Chief Scientist), Sarah, and Kevin discussing life while standing on the heli-deck.

Open water with ice.

Daryl Bresnahan helping the scientists with the first CTD launch.

Jim Swift, Wendy, Dave, Ron, and Sarah are putting together the CTD.

Eugene working with compressed gases.

Top view of the CTD.

CTD submerging into the water.  All 36 Rosette bottles are open at this point.

CTD is submerged.

After the CTD was assembled by the scientists, it was tested twice to make sure all electrical functions were working properly and also to check the tripping mechanisms of the bottles of the rosette.  The rosette contains 36 bottles for collecting seawater.  When it is full of seawater, it weighs over a ton and can be very dangerous if not properly controlled. It is very important that the crew, scientists, winch operator, and coordinator are working together.



Report from Chief Scientist Dr. Rebecca Woodgate, August 21, 2002

Greetings from the Chukchi Sea, sitting in ice and sun. We've been out 48 hours and already it seems like a lot longer (though not in the bad sense!) We've been busily at it, setting up instruments and did the test casts on the CTD last night.  There was a little preening still to do, but now we are "good to go" and just need to finish the transit through the ice to the first station.

The Polar Star arrived Monday as planned, but stood 15 miles off the coast due to ice.  The helicopter transfer over to the ship on Monday, August 19 was as fun as ever, and we've not really stopped since. It's good to be out, after kicking our heels in Barrow for the last few days. Gail and I did the rounds of the school classes.  GREAT schools, very modern and bright, and keen teachers and kids.  Small classes, and a great interest in science.  Oceanography for 7 year olds - will we be forgiven for likening the complex CTD-Rosette to a complicated bucket?  Or the mix of waters in the Arctic (the Atlantic and Pacific) as being the equivalent of American (i.e. all now Arctic, but with their origins somewhere else).  Or the fact that we can trace the waters from either ocean just like how they could tell that I "wasn't from around here"? Fun stuff, waving around globes and maps, though unlike at a conference, the school bell is the ultimate deadline.

The coast in Barrow was solid with old broken-up floes that had just blown in a few days before.  The locals were out fishing, standing on the ice just a few feet from the shore, with lines on short rods. They'd stand for hours, but I never saw a catch.  We DID see polar bears though, one out a few hundred yards on the ice, and obviously with a mission of his own. Also, a mother and cub, this time on land, and prompting the police to close the road so the bear and her cub could be encouraged back out on the ice.  A science talk took us out for a walk on the tundra, which isn't as barren as one might expect.  Browns now, but evidence of flowers from the summer, reminded me of Scotland, though a LOT flatter, and you get less caribou in Scotland.  Rebecca