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News from the CCGS Amundsen - week 2

By: Holly Westbrook


It’s hard to believe there is under a week left before leg 2a is complete. I will be staying on for 2b as well, but many of the scientist and some of the crew will be departing next week. It seems like it has gone by fast, but at the same time the strange sleep schedule I’m on makes it hard to differentiate days, which makes it seem like everything is dragging on.

The past week has been very busy. One of the highlights was sampling station BB2, which is in the middle of Baffin Bay and is around 2370 meters deep. Most of our stations so far have been ranging from 100-700 meters, with a few around 1000, so this station is fairly unique. Though it has been sampled before, one of the members of the biogeochemical team, Cara Manning, has been trying for three years to sample the bottom water of this station, and every year something has come up that has prevented that from happening. But this year was a success, and the Baffin Bay Bottom Water at BB2 was finally sampled! We will have to wait until we get back to actually measure the samples, but the anticipation for that station made up for the fact that it came out of the water at around 1:30 AM.

In addition, those of us newer to the Arctic have successfully passed our initiation! While it had fun elements to it, most people are grateful that it is over. Currently the schedule is too packed for a proper celebration, but we’ve been told that it will come eventually.

The coming days should be a bit lighter for our team, however. While for most of the cruise we’ve been sampling almost every station, for the upcoming NOW transect we’re only sampling the “basic” and “full” stations. Though this transect doesn’t cover as much distance as other transects, it will still take several days are there are multiple stations placed in close succession in order to get a high resolution image of the space between Thule Base and Crise Fjord.

So far the sights continue to be beautiful here, unless it’s foggy, and since we’re currently closer to Greenland the air temperature is a bit warmer. We’ve also been lucky enough to see some more polar bears! While there have been many sightings, the only ones I saw were a mother and her cub running across the ice. I’m looking forward to leg 2b, as we’ll be seeing a lot of glaciers and I hear from other that we might see narwhals. The team using a baited camera has also had good luck and got a really nice video of a Greenland shark nibbling at their bait!

Currently our next station will be at around midnight, so I’m currently waiting around for that. If you want to see real time updates on the ship you can visit!


Rosette Picture Credit: Lauren O’Dell

Polar Bear Picture Credit: Julia Baak (@juiliaellenbaak on Instagram)

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