Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 2 (31 July 2012)

Breakfast at 8 was great.  Creamy oatmeal, comfortingly salted, with cinnamon, soft boiled eggs, and platters of tomato, cucumber, pickles, various cold cuts, the ineviable pickled fish, and cheese.  No one was brave enough to try the caramel brown cheese that came in a block and had apparently been made with caramelized milk.  I must remember to take a picture of that later....

In the meantime, here is the story of the day, in pictures....

 July 31 2012a-  The main building of the Sletvik field station.  In former times, it was a school for the local children.  Now it belongs to  NTNU and they run field courses there, as well as provide access to scientists wishing to work in the Bay of Hopavagen.

July 31 2012b-  A view of the bay from one end.

July 31 2012c-  The mesocosm rings for the framework, waiting in the grass.

July 31 2012d-  The outlet to the sea.  More than 1/3 of the water in the bay is exchanged every day.

July 31 2012e-  The tide was going out ferociously.

July 31 2012f-  Looking in towards the bay from the inlet, with the ocean at my back.

July 31 2012g-  Everyone's clothes are still shiny clean and new.  Richard models the fancy new pants that he's excited about (so many pockets!!!!).  He's been turned sideways, though, and I can't figure out how to turn him about.

July 31 2012-h  Just then, our first shipment arrived, which, at first glance, appeared to be fencing suitable for use with sheep and ostriches.  Um....

July 31 2012i-  But hiding behind the fencing was NOC's equipment boxes.  And, hmmm....  unlike the shipping company, the Blogger photo uploader insists on respecting the "This Side Up" sign on the filtration rack box.

July 31 2012j-  Sari is proud of her water wheel.

July 31, 2012k-  It's funny how the XYs just assume it is their job to carry all the heavy things.

July 31, 2012l-  OK, Blogger rotating back to horizontal all the vertical shots I upload from the Canon and then not having a way to rotate them back is starting to piss me off.  This problem has existed for the entire 1.5 years I've had this camera.  Google!  Get it together already!

July 31 2012m-  More pickled wonders on the shelves in the teaching labs.

July 31 2012n-  There is a fantastic mural on the walls of the hall outside the teaching labs.

July 31 2012o-  If you are up on all your Norse mythology, perhaps you know who all these folks are.  Perhaps.

July 31 2012p-  We could not decide if the bare bottomed bare back rider of the bear back was a prince or a queen.  The bear looks similarly perplexed.

July 31 2012q-  Child with sailboat being sucked in to a whirlpool at sundown and Poseidon on drugs.

July 31 2012r-  Fancy lady on a fancy horse.

July 31 2012s-  Oh yeah.  That thing there is the roll of plastic we're using to make the 10 meter long bags for the mesocosms.

July 31 2012t-  The crimper used to seal the bags at the bottom and to seal the lip over the rigid plastic ring that will be the open mouth at the top.

July 31 2012u-  Morgane and Mia sealing a bottom edge.  I don't know why Blogger has no problem with the vertical shots from my crappy little Nikon Coolpix camera.  It really only fails with the vertical shots from the Canon G12, which, of course, takes the better pictures.

July 31 2012v-  Morgane and Manon working on another bag.

July 31 2012w-  In the meantime, the rest of us are launching the boat.  In this picture, Morten, Rudolph, Briva, and Jussi are hard at work.

July 31 2012x-  Rover in the Rover.  (Actually, I think the retriever's name is Aquarius).

July 31 2012y-  Liberating the boat.

July 31 2012z-  Getting hung up momentarily in a patch of flowers.

July 31 2012 za-  Made it to the water!

July 31 2012zb-  Herwig and Juli testing the seaworthiness of the craft....

July 31 2012zc- While Rudolph and Jussi drum up a suitable anchor stone.

July 31 2012zd-  How best to tie up the stone required considerable discussion.

July 31 2012ze-  But at last it was time for the XYs to bring it down to the landing.

July 31 2012zf- Plumbing for just the right depth.

July 31 2012zg-  Over it goes!

July 31 2012zh-  Sploosh!

July 31 2012zi-  Time to add the outboard.

July 31 2012zj-  Herwig and Jussi get the job done.

July 31 2012zk-  Time to haul the big mesocosm rings into the water and lash them together to form a stable raft from which we can hang the mesocosm bags.

July 31 2012zl-  Easing the first one into the sea.

July 31 2012zm-  Adding missing metal rings and bubble-wrapping so the bags can't get ripped on the metal bits.

July 31 2012zn- Closer view of the metal rings and bubble-wrapping.

 July 31 2012zo-  Meanwhile back at the bag-making ranch, a view of the 2-ply plastic sheeting used to make the bags.

July 31 2012zp- Morgane and Mia marking out the cone end of a bag while Manon adds the latest finished bag to the growing pile.  Look how far they got by dinner time.  And that wasn't even the tip of the iceberg, as we needed 25 bags plus a couple spares for the inevitable mishap or two.

July 31 2012zq-  Now that we're all full of a nice, warm, cozy, two course dinner (cream of asparagus soup followed by pork chops and mashed potatoes), it's time to wade in deep and properly attach the mesocosm framework together.

July 31 20012zr-  Sometimes it took considerable lifting and heaving of the rafts to get the bolts threaded through all the right washers and then fixed into place with nuts.  And often times, you had to spend ten minutes smacking at last year's nut, which was rusted well into place.

July 31 2012zs-  Richard and Morten, distracted from the riveting show, presumably by Serious Scientific Discussion.

July 31 2012zt-  Richard and Morten's scientific idyll was shattered by Jussi's needing boards hauled down for the platform to be built on the side of the mesocosm raft.

July 31 2012zu-  Morten bringing down the "stabilizing floats" for the mesocosm.  We're all curious as to who needed several hundred gallons of bleach (and why) back in 1997 (the chemical expiration date stamped on the top of the containers).

July 31 2012zv-  Juli got drafted into the action, too.

July 31 2012zw-  Jussi, getting down to serious business.

July 31 2012jw-  We got stuck on this particular bolt (with a nut which was both obstinately rusted and who had jumped the threads) for about 30 minutes.

July 31 2012zx-  GAAAAARRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHH!  Everyone is bracing to hold the raft steady against the torque that Herwig (and then later Thomas and Herwig together) was applying to wrench free the offending nut.  This picture does not do that effort justice, but, alas, this is where the spectators got bored and left, leaving no one to man the camera.

By 9pm that night (when Sari and I got too cold just standing there bracing the raft, even in our wetsuits), we had the framework in place, minus the extra ring with the platform on it, and about half of the chcains (two of which are visible in this photo) in place and at the right height and tension.  The rest would be finished the following morning.  Outdoor manual labor from 9am to 9pm, minus the time for lunch.  Shivering or not, we were certainly all ready to call it a day.


  1. Ha! Looks like fun. *I'm* pining for the fjords to be sure

  2. You should come up and join us. There is plenty of water to be filtered. We can share!