Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 10 (Aug 8 2012)

At long last, our first sampling day!  Wednesday August 8, the official beginning of the experiment.  The day started with collection of water at 6:30 am (an expedition that, thankfully, was over in time to partake of the warm food at breakfast) and ended, at least for me, at 10 pm, with all the work done, but all the bottles left to rinse out sometime before the next sampling day (which will be on Friday).  Somehow the others found enough energy to sit around being social and eating potato chips until about 2 in the morning, when they came stumbling like elephants into the dorm (even on tiptoes you sound like an elephant in there, the floor being more like a drum than anything else and the utter lack of a porch light or street lights making it incredibly impossible to reach the porch steps without crashing bodily into them and falling all over them in the middle of the night).  I suspect there will be a few faces missing at breakfast.  (Indeed, breakfast is now over and at least two faces did not surface.  As Annick noted, it being someone's birthday yesterday (not to mention the kick-off of the experiment), it was necessary to analyze the whiskey in the bottle that appeared in the lounge at about 11 last night.)

Anyway, living dead or not this morning, the team did a great job with the first sampling day.   GO TEAM!

Aug 8 2012a-  Nathalie, having been volunteered for the 6:30 am sampling trip, remained heroically cheerful.  The rest of us did not quite muster the equivalent level of cheer at that cold, grey early hour.  At least it wasn't raining, though, as it had done with much gusto through the night.

Aug 8 2012b-  Loading up the boat.

Aug 8 2012c-  Lowering the integrated water sampler into a mesocosm bag.  When one remembered to close the pesky little spigots on the bottles, one only had to deploy the sampler 4-5 times to fill up the slightly more than 20 L carboys.

Aug 8 2012d- While Nathalie and Jussi sampled the mesocosms easily reached from the boat, Morten and I sampled the inner ones more easily accessed from the little 3 plank platform.

Aug 8 2012e- Now that we have sampled all 12 bags, we're headig back in.  Breakfast time!

Aug 8 2012f-  The scrum around the water bottles.  Everyone wants samples.

Aug 8 2012t- Manon adding glutaraldehyde to the virus samples and the bacteria samples.

 Aug 8 2012u-  Annick attacking the size fractionated samples.

Aug 8 2012v-  There was more than enough filtration for everyone.

Aug 8 2012w-  Manon appears to be not entirely convinced about all this filtration.

Aug 8 2012x-  Or maybe it merely was that someone threatened to take her favorite bottle (?) away from her.

Aug 8 2012y-  A brave face in the face of an endless supply of water needing to be filtered.

Aug 8 2012g- While most everyone else filtered, the NOC group had to figure out how to unclump their calcite so they could add it to their mesocosms.  Richard decided to sonicate some solutions, gently rolling them in the sonic bath all the while.  He spent a not inconsiderably portion of the day so communing with his calcite.

Aug 8 2012h-  Some time later, Richard has truly earned the mantle of The One Who Rolls the Calcite.  He is totally in the zone.

Aug 8 2012i-  Because the first sampling day was not quite frantic enough, we also had an unexpected visit from Yngvar, the professor from Trondheim who is sort of responsible for us here while we visit.  He was an amiable fellow, but had a slightly anarchistic bent.  Perhaps worried that we would from on his unbuckled life vest (at least the ties are tied), he told us that he only buckles is when his children (now grown) are there to insist on it.  Sigh.  Modern times!  They can make you wear a life vest, but they cannot make you buckle it.  Ah, for the good old days, when you were free to be responsible for your own safety.  I have some sympathy for his frustration.

Aug 8 2012j-  Sari is not convinced by all the sonication.  Despite Richard's best efforts, the clacite has reclumped.  It is just the way of the stuff.  Dilution will clearly be the only solution.

Aug 8 2012k-  As soon as I (finally) got my oxygen incubations set up and rowed them out and hung them to incubate in situ, Morten came out wanting to deploy his.  So I went back to the raft with him.  Here he is also retrieving his 2nd test deployment of the gel trap (the one with this new and improved black bottom).  A squall came in towards the end and, while I was happily gore-texed from head to tow, Morten came back looking exactly as he would have if he would have fallen in.

Aug 8 2012l-  The historic moment has finally arrived for the NOC team.  The first calcite solution is about to go into their bags.  Sari is very excited about this.

Aug 8 2012m-  The historic moment; in it goes!

Aug 8 2012n-  With Sari in the picture as well.

Aug 8 2012o-  OK!  Yay!  .... And now.....?

 Aug 8 2012p-  Much later, back in the lab, Sari was organizing her sampling kit boxes.  She's very excited about her latest innovation, the sleeve for some sort of straw or pipette that they need during sampling.

Aug 8 2012r-  The bottom half of the kit.

Aug 8 2012s-  Proudly displaying the whole kit and kaboodle.

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