Chukchi Borderland Project

Daily Updates from

our Teacher at Sea


September 1

Appreciating the Surroundings

  After a hard day's work, there is nothing quite like sitting in my bathing suit, drinking ice tea and enjoying the sun's high-latitude rays.

Gail basking in the heat of the day.

  The scenery we are steaming through is an awesome sight.  It is truly a harsh environment, yet with it's own beauty.'s not safe to go for a walk...



Well it was hot today, it must have been 35 degrees!
Some are a little more into the warm weather than others.

So, who's right?

Marlene votes with Jim...


Report from Chief Scientist Rebecca Woodgate , September 1, 2002

Greetings from the Arctic! All well and things are going smoothly. There's been a substantial amount of open water and wide leads, and we've been making good time.  Our cruise track would look a little odd without knowing about the leads, which take us significant distances from our direct route. Still, it makes more sense to move faster in a circuitous manner than force our way along a dead heading. The CTD casts progress at a fine pace.  The chemical analyses run around the clock, and we are taking advantage of our promising progress to catch a few more CTD profiles in key spots.

  The data are "lovely"- very clean, no ship roll and almost zero interference, a surprising amount of fine structure temperature/salinity steps, and other intriguing things.  I'm not going to hypothesis on unfinished sections, but it's turning out very nicely so far.  I sit now in the "science library", a computer lab one deck below the working (our CTD) deck.  A TV screen in the corner acts as a repeater for the outside cameras (pointed forward, aft, down on the CTD) and the bridge navigation screen.  A feed from the ship's science data system gives me real time depth and course information, so I can work at the computer whilst still monitoring exactly how we are getting on! 

  You really have to remind yourself to go outside (other than to launch the CTD).  Weather is definitely getting colder.  During the cast, a thin layer of ice starts to form on the water and recently we've had dustings of snow.  That helps to remind you where you are, especially when we've done casts in leads so big you can hardly see any ice!  SO - all well here.  Hope things are well back on dry land!