05 November 2004

Friday!! The last day of the work week before the last day of the work week.

My role in today’s adventure started with the diving at the transition. This is one of the spots just in front of the station and one of the long term monitoring sites. Mike, Dr.Dave Duggins, and I dove out of our portable polar haven. This is a portable dive hut to keep us out of the wind. One of the main problems when diving outside is not the temperature of the air but the windchill. When the wind is blowing everything freezes. A good example is my dive computer. Dive computers tell you how deep you are and how long you can stay there without getting the “bends.” In the past we have frozen our dive computers with little to no problems although this year while at cape chocolate my computer froze after I dove and gave me this screen. What it says is that I did a dive to 296 feet and stayed there for some amount of time over an hour. Needless to say this didn’t happen but it is a new quirk for frozen equipment. Diving out of the portable polar haven saves us a lot of this hassle.

No sediment here!
My job on the dive was to take the sediment cores which we use to look at the animals that live in the mud. This was made difficult at this site by the complete lack of sediment. Although in past years we have found a nice soft bottom this year we found rock everywhere. In my attempt to find soft sediment I found that right next to sponges I could get just enough. By accident at one time a cored a sponge instead of right next to it which was unfortunate for the sponge. It was covered with a layer sediment so was already dying or dead.... at least I hope it was.

The rest of the divers, Mike and Dave both got what they needed done so we surfaced even though I only got 1/3rd of my job done. I thought Stacy should see the site since it is so different from previous years and so she dove there in the afternoon. On the way to the surface I grabbed our newly arrived digital camera housing and played with it to make sure it is water tight. Much to our joy it was so Bob took it in when he, Stacy, and Jen went in that hole. He took many good pictures but when he surfaced there was still a layer of water inside. Our camera survived without any problems. Unfortunately, that meant that we will not be using it anymore and so will have to spread the pictures that Bob took today across the rest of the updates.
The other big happening of today was that it was Mike's birthday, Adam Marsh, and Jeff (who has a last name but I do not know it)’s Birthday’s. The culmination of the evening was Dr. Marsh passing on his 45 years of wisdom to Mike “keep you drysuit zipped.” It is hard to find fault in such sage advice and we all agreed that Mike should follow it. Adam is a man whose wisdom is beyond his years. Tomorrow we have a surprise party so it was a low key event tonight.

Happy Birthday Mike!

aloha,
andrew

Lets see the next day!