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AMASE 2007: Winds and Changes
08.21.07
 
I awoke this morning at five am to find myself swaying in my bed. Sometime during the night the wind had picked up dramatically and large waves had developed where we were anchored near shore. For a brief while I thought we had started sailing a day early, but the shore remained fixed through the small porthole in my cabin.

During our morning meeting, we discovered that the waves were too big for us to safely take the Zodiacs to shore. We discussed leaving for our next site early, but the equipment in the lab needs to be tied down before we go and many of us are too nauseous to do much at the moment. The management team has decided we should stay put for a while, people can wait for the motion sickness medicine to kick in then we'll meet up after lunch to reassess the situation.

Its 3pm and we've decided to continue hanging out in the same place. The ship has drifted a bit down the shore. Everyone is inside, huddled in various lab spaces catching up on work. The most exciting event was a near miss with a giant iceberg an hour ago. Or so we thought.

We heard strange loud noises coming from the ship so Oliver and I ran out on the deck to check it out. There was huge iceberg just off the bow. It looked like Lance was trying to rotate and get away from the iceberg, but every now and then we would suddenly get close again. We discovered that the Raman team had actually asked how close we could get to an iceberg so they could attempt to measure it with their laser from the ship's deck. The idea sounded pretty crazy, but it would be so cool if it worked! In the end, they were unable to make their attempt because the ship was bouncing too much in the waves for the instrument to sit safely on deck.

At 5:30pm I exited my cabin for dinner and found the boat deserted. While I had been inside, Lance had sailed into a calmer bay and everyone had gone on shore for a walk around! Somehow I had missed the call and never realized that everyone had left! I was pretty bummed to not be on shore as the evening had brought blue skies and bright sunshine. To cheer myself up, I spent some quality time reading a Norwegian fishing magazine with Morton up in the bridge. The view from the panoramic windows of the bridge was spectacular and much warmer than from on deck. I watched the folks onshore through binoculars and joined them for dinner when they returned. It sounds like it will be a neat new Wahlenberg Fjord field site next year.

 
 
Kirsten Fristad
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center