I took the weekend off from blogging, but that doesn’t mean that science stopped on Saturday or Sunday. Our work continues almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Research vessels like the R/V Knorr are so expensive to operate that once we are at our work site, we need to keep moving along constantly. To accomplish this, we work in shifts. Most of the ship’s crew work for 4 hours, and then get 8 hours off, then work 4 hours again, etc. The scientists keep a different schedule–each shift spends 8 hours working and then has 16 hours off. That means someone is always sleeping, so it’s “library quiet” down below around the cabins.
So where are we anyway? You can follow our route on the Where is Knorr Now? web site. For my visually impaired friends, the map shows the noerthern part of the North Atlantic, with the surrounding land masses (the british Isles, Iceland, Greenland and Canada). Our cruise track is shown first as a straight line toward the southwest from Iceland. This was when we were just making a bee-line for our first mooring site, which was at about the latitude of the southern tip of Greenland. Then we turned toward the east, and the cruise track gets more irregular. this is because we have been taking two steps forward and one step back. During the nights, we have been doing surveys of the sea floor at the next two moorings sites, and then back-tracking during the day to actually deploy the moorings at those sites. We prefer to do mooring operations during daylight hours–it’s just easier for everyone on deck if they can see all the equipment that is being eased over the stern. If you would like to read more about the cruise activities, there is also a cruise blog being maintained with contributions from different scientists, students and technicians on board the Knorr. You can find it at the International Cruise Blog Site. And if after that, you are still hankering for more OSNAP cruise news, you can follow our UK OSNAP colleagues on the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross as they transit the OSNAP line and more measuring in detail the water properties and currents of the northern North Atlantic at the UK cruise blog site.