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> July 19, 2006
post Jul 21 2006, 10:58 PM
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TEA Teacher

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July 19, 2006

Dr. Koji Shimada and Hirokatsu Uno joined the ship in Dutch Harbor and have been waiting since then to retrieve four moorings and deploy two others. At 7 AM yesterday they started the process of retrieving the first mooring; by 7 PM the ship was underway again without the mooring. After arriving at the site where the mooring should be, the first step in retrieval is to put a transducer into the water to "talk" to the mooring by sending an acoustic signal to 'wake up" the instruments which then send a signal back. Once that happens and the mooring is close by, Koji sends the signal to trigger the release mechanism and bring the mooring to the surface. Yesterday they were able to talk to the mooring and they even had a confirmed release. However, the mooring was never sighted. The crew began the process of setting out hooked wire to drag for the mooring. They dragged in increasingly larger circles throughout the day, but never brought the mooring to the surface. Early this morning we were at a new sight where they did indeed bring in a mooring. Koji and Hiro have been busy throughout the day so I'll try to talk with them tomorrow and tell you a bit more.

"insert picture drag for mooring.jpg"

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Dr. Koji Shimada and Hirokatsu Uno standing on deck with the mooring they have just retrieved.

Once underway last night, I continued to work on my journals so I could finally get caught up. I was upstairs trying to find my journal subjects in order to check for accuracy when Ian Darling came to tell us all that ice had been sighted about four miles ahead. We all rushed to see it and then decided that we really needed to get Jackie's last cores sieved before the ship started to hit the ice. You might remember that Jackie does respiration experiments with two cores from each station. Once she's done, we sieve them to preserve the animals. We couldn't do it yesterday due to the work on deck with the mooring and we had planned to do it today. That all changed with the ice. Rebecca, Lee, Jackie and I carried the eleven cores to the deck and started washing. By the time we were done, the ship was hitting large ice floes and everyone on board who had never seen ice was on deck snapping pictures. We all scanned for walrus and polar bears but unfortunately the crew didn't sight either until 2 AM when most of us were asleep.

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Me, Rebecca, ice - Last night we spotted ice on the horizon and rushed on to the deck to sieve the last of Jackie's cores. Peter Lee took this picture of Rebecca and me just as we were getting into the ice and finishing the cores.

Note: I wrote that last part earlier today before I did indeed see a polar bear. Just before dinner someone spotted the bear just ahead of the bow. We all rushed to the bridge to get a better view. With binoculars, it was easy to watch it as it devoured its dinner, most likely a seal. Once the ship began to move a bit, the bear went into the water and swam away.

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Photo by: Rebecca Pirtle-Levy

"insert picture polar bear in water.jpg"
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