Thursday, 21 March 2013

Day 7 The tracer is in the Bag

I awake on day 7 to find a buzz of excitement. The chemist have been working through the night amongst their narrow pipes and machines that go ping! 2 litres of water is poured into a mass of metal lights and ducting. The relevant gasses are stripped out into glass intermediary vessels. This gas is then condensed and turned into a liquid which runs through a chromatographer. The chromatographer brakes the liquid into its trace gases and then goes...Ping! And ping! they did go! We found a nice but fairly weak patch of tracer right under us. Perhaps the tailing edge, perhaps the whole thing has been thoroughly mixed up.

Photo: Seobhan and Ben working hard in the Lab you could dream up if you tried.

As if in celebration, the sun - oh so unfamiliar in these parts - rears its head. The sea is calm and the winds low. So long as we keep our overalls on we can imagine we are working in the tropics. George - our trusty Winch driver and 30 year veteran of these waters - is not afraid to use cliches. ''The calm before the storm'' he says. He's not afraid to read a weather prediction either. The wind gradually rises from a few knots to 10 to 20. There is a storm set to hit us this looks nasty.

Photo:  The CTD rosette coming out of the water with tracer samples on one of the calmest mornings one could ask for.

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