Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 22 (Aug 20, 2012)

Aggregate experiment sampling day number 5.  We hit the water shortly after 7 am, got it back to the lab by 8:15, and there are some poor souls who are still in the lab filtering water at 11:32 at night (but, as you can see, I am not one of them).  A lot of that is associated with the end of one aggregation experiment and the start of the next.

Even though the wind and rain have been remarkably merciful towards us, we are still definitely discovering that with mesocosm experiments, every day brings a new surprise (or two).  Case in point.  In a fit of exhaustion, I left the lab this afternoon with many, many things left unfinished.  I took a shower.  I ate some chocolate.  I made a cup of tea (there being no diet Coke left within the nearest 5 miles).  Then I sat down outside on one of the picnic benches in the sun and just admired the mesocosms for a moment.  Then I noticed that there were notably aquamarine on one side.... exactly as if the bags were no longer perfectly vertical, but were floating up towards the surface, despite the weights at their bottoms that are meant to hold them down.  Floating up towards the horizontal (but not getting there, mind you), exactly the way Richard and Sari had described them doing the day before when they had (fruitlessly) attempted to go out and sample on the very strongly incoming tide.  SIGH.  The tides have been super strong this week, the new moon having been on Aug 17.  The mesocosm bags have thus been... swaying.... somewhat in the strong current that whips up as the tide roars into the bay. 

 Aug 20 2012a-   The nerdy giggle of the day.  The moment when you realize that using pH paper to check the neutrality of Lugol's solution wasn't such a brilliant idea after all.

Aug 20 2012b-   When you are out in the boonies and you need to top up the liquid nitrogen dewars that contain frozen samples, you may find yourself stuck using that high tech human invention and friend of health and safety folk everywhere, the cook's largest soup ladle.

Aug 20, 2012c-  One inevitably felt a bit witchy (or maybe it was the lack of sleep), as if one were preparing a potent cauldron.  We were short on pointy hats, so Jussi suggested I get into the spirit of things using an inverted funnel.  It didn't quite work, though.

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