March 10, 2006
Funded by the
National Science Foundation
Office of Polar Programs
Location: Latitude 64° 4' S, Longitude 54° 31' W
Air Temperature: .2°C
I am addressed by many different names while on this boat. The common ones include Miss Julia, Ms. Wellner, Dr. Wellner, Boss Lady, Dear, and My Love as well as occasionally just Julia. Sometimes a wild card is thrown in, like Stephanie. There may well be others I don't hear myself. But, I will admit that I awoke this morning not in the mood to answer to many of these. I was sad to discover that drilling operations had stopped due to deteriorating ice conditions just after I went to bed. I impatiently waited for dawn to arrive so that the ice could be reevaluated. There weren't too many souls up at 5 am on such a slow night, which was good because those people who had to greet me in my pre-shower hat, weren't going to get an answer to some of those names. Luckily it was hat day on board so I blended into the crowd.
At 8:30, the day began to change. A new ice image arrived and showed open water at some of our proposed sites. I quickly went to the bridge to compare the image to what the ground conditions actually were and then plan some way to start drilling one of our holes. We had bright sunlight for the first time in days and were surrounded in spectacular pieces of ice-at least from a scenery perspective-and glistening water. I enjoyed my time chatting on the bridge feeling the sun. Just after 10 am, orcas were spotted off the bow by Captain Mike and were followed by a startled seal and my favorite iceberg yet this year. It made for a lovely morning. Just after lunch we found open water, or at least what we are beginning to accept as good water this cruise. The drillers are now stringing pipe again and we should hit the mudline at dinnertime.
We will call this hole NBP0602A-3A, which brings me back to the topic of names. We are close to the site we now carefully call proposal site 6. That name was given to this approximate site at the same time when six other sites were named in 2001 when we first applied for the money to do this project. Over the four and a half years since then, we have all become quite accustomed to referring to certain spots on the seafloor by these numbers. But, we now are actually here drilling them and by every naming convention possible, the sites must be renamed. The name of the hole where we are currently sitting can be explained as such: NBP for Nathaniel B. Palmer, the name of our ship; 0602A for the second cruise of 2006 along with an extra letter to confuse us because of some change in the schedule; and then 3A because this will be the third time that pipe has gone into the ground but the first hole of this pipe deployment. After that, each individual core will get its own letters and numbers so that it is properly cataloged. So, proposed site 6 will now be hole 3A, and maybe more. But it is also where we have holes 1A, 1B, and 1C.
All of this starts to make it seem easy to respond to each of my names in the correct fashion.
Photos by Denise Kulhanek.
Photos by Denise Kulhanek.
Do you have questions? Comments?