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> Putting the Plan in Action...., Then Waiting and Being Flexible Again
Steve_Marshall
post Jun 16 2005, 04:36 AM
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Note: If pictures are not present, they will be following soon

6/14/05 #3
Putting the Plan in Action…Then Back to Waiting and Being Flexible


Getting Things Ready
Once our overall plan was determined, it was time to begin the preparations. Each researcher spent much of the day setting up their labs and equipment. Since getting sediment cores is a major part of this project, preparations for obtaining the cores took up much of the time. Sediment cores need to be put in protective liners. The total size of these cores, rounded sections of the seafloor that are taken by basically drilling into the ocean bottom, may be up to 50 or 60 feet.

Ready And Waiting
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These are the stacks of core liners that will be used to collect, and then protect, the sediment cores

As these cores are brought up, they are cut into sections, and also in half. To make this process easier, the hard-plastic liners are cut into appropriate sections, and also cut in half ahead of time. The two halves of each section are then taped back together to allow the whole core to be put into the tube, and then later separated to allow the sample to be cut in half easily once the core is in the tube.


Core Liner Preparation
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Dennis Darby and Jens Bischof cut the core liners to the appropriate lengths

Core Liner Preparation
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After the appropriate length is cut, Jens then cuts the core liner in half


Reassembling the Liner
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Once the cuts are made, the liner is taped back together so the whole core can be placed into it when it is brought to the surface


Not So Fast!
While much progress was made in completing the core liners, and many of the other researchers were also completing their preparations at their individual workstations, we soon realized there was no rush to have things ready….We were stuck…stuck in the ice! unsure.gif rolleyes.gif

This Is a Fine Mess
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This is a picture off the front of the ship that gives a good indication that were not going anywhere fast

Under Pressure
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These ridges indicate the ice is thick, under pressure, and has been around a long time. This “multi-year” ice is the hardest to get through


After determining we weren’t going anywhere fast, I immediately thought back to how I described the ship as moving through the ice like a knife through butter. I quickly regretted that comparison and realized it was wrong. It might have been better to describe it as a saw going through wood. Anyone who has sawed large pieces of wood before will understand this…If the wood is right, and the saw sharp, you can start out quickly sawing through the wood with little effort. With some wood, however, if it’s not properly supported, the cut sides of the tree will squeeze together and pinch the saw blade to the point it is very difficult to cut, or the saw may be stopped all together. That is kind of what happened to us. We were going through the ice easily, but as we got into thicker ice, it was much like a saw getting more than halfway through the piece of wood…The ice closed in around the ship and the large blocks collapsed back against the hull of the ship, pinching it in like a tree closes in to stop a saw.

Tight Squeeze
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Looking where the side of the ship is against the ice, you can see the ice is broken some, but its not moving away. We’re locked in good ohmy.gif

After the captain assessed the situation, he determined it would be at least mid-morning the next day before he would even TRY to move the ship. Back to what’s become a familiar part of this project…Back to waiting. Waiting, but making the most of it.

So Close, Yet….
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Looking ahead of the ship, you can see open water. We are less than a boat length away, but only moving painfully slow….A little frustrating to see a light at the end of the tunnel that doesn’t get any closer, but we’ve learned to go with the flow…Or lack there of biggrin.gif
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Tom_Crumrine
post Jun 16 2005, 04:19 PM
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Steve,

I've been following your progress--sounds like fun.

Tom
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