Chukchi Borderland Project

Daily Updates from

our Teacher at Sea


September  21

The Polar Bear Club and Golden Dragons

  Today, many people were initiated into the Polar Bear Club and the Golden Dragons.  The Polar Bear Club is for people crossing the Arctic Circle for the first time.  The Golden Dragons is for crossing the Dateline for the first time.

  Traditionally, this is a ceremony at which the Royal Court presides. 

  The court consists of Davey Jones, King Neptune, Queen Amphitrite, and the Royal Baby.

The Royal Court.

  Scientists, Sarah Zimmerman, Guy Mathieu, Kevin Vranes, Kellie Balster, Marlene Jeffries and I performed a short skit that night in front of the crew.

  Our skit was entitled "Lord of the Dance", although any similarities to the internationally famed production are purely coincidental...not to mention too much to hope for.






We are packing-up and going home...

To the Crew of the Polar Star:

  I would like to extend a thank you to the crew for being so wonderful to me and the rest of the scientists on this cruise.  I have personally learned a great deal because of all of you.  Thank you for helping me develop this web page.  Without all of you, it would not have been possible.  Also, thanks for letting me take pictures of you all.

To the Scientists:

  I want to thank you also for helping me on this cruise.  I appreciate all the help.  I have learned many things about Oceanography and I owe it all to you.

  Thanks everyone for the many laughs I have shared with all of you because that is what kept me sane.
I will miss all of you!


Report from Chief Scientist Rebecca Woodgate, Sunday 22nd September, En route to Barrow

Dear All,

  A quick closing email to wrap up the cruise.  We are in the final throes of packing and tomorrow morning the Polar Star's helicopters should sweep the science party back to dry land.  We've had an extremely busy and a productive 35 days. 

  The moorings are safely recovered, and the data looks good.  Our hopes for light ice were unfounded, but a combination of waiting and extremely skillful ship driving proved successful. 

  We brought our 126th CTD cast onto deck late Friday night, 25% more than we had originally hoped for.  The lightness of the ice allowed us to substantially increase our spatial coverage of the Chukchi Borderland region, with extra sections over the Northwind Ridge and the Chukchi Plateau.  A first look at the data shows a rich variety of features, pathways of Pacific waters, variability in Atlantic water structure, and much more.  It's a gem of a dataset! 

  It's hard to resist statistics on something like this. We brought up around 30 tons of water for samples.  We've analyzed over 2500 CFC samples, 2662 nutrient tubes, 2999 oxygen flasks, 3066 salts, taken almost 1000 samples each for Barium and Oxygen-18 isotopes, around 100 for Iodine and Helium, and ca 30 for Cs.  In total, the Rosette traversed almost 250 miles vertically, the equivalent of driving from Seattle to Vancouver and back.  I could continue, but I won't! Instead, back to the packing and then to dry land!

With best wishes from the Arctic,