Today shipboard operations have largely involved retrieval and deployment of sensor packages that have been located on subsurface moorings for approximately one year. Nothing can be located on the sea surface here because it would be destroyed by winter ice. During the previous two days, the sea state was too high for mooring recovery operations. Such operations can be difficult because they involve small boat operations to attach retrieval lines to the array of floats, lines and instruments. When mooring operations are postponed, and the sea state is not too high, work on collection and analysis of water samples continues – sometimes at a rate, and for a duration of time, that creates substantial sleep deprivation. Such has been the case for the previous few days. The USF team has found itself working, on average, 15-hour work days with the greatest amount of sampling occurring throughout the night.
Snow has begun to accumulate on the decks of the Healy. This makes travel fore and aft on weather decks somewhat more hazardous. The scientists’ quarters are approximately sixty yards forward of, and two decks above, the science laboratory. Travel to and from the staterooms to the main lab involves a choice between the outdoor route, through wind and snow, and the inner route, which involves opening and closing five water tight hatches. The outer route is generally faster, and is the near equivalent of a cup of coffee.