Sunday, June 7, 2015

6/7: The Seagulls are mocking us...

The Seagulls are mocking us.
Our view from the boat in the open ocean for one last day of deep-water dredging. 
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Scratch that, they would enjoying 70-degree weather not 70-degree latitude. If it was easy, all the other wack-o's would be up here trying to get Arctic Islandica from the deep water to assemble long term chronologies of the arctic climate with yearly resolution...but they probably don't share the determination of Al/Maddie of Iowa State, the guile of Erlend the fisherman of Ingoy, or the reserves of Julia today toughing out a return to sea legs while keeping a smile the whole time. So accordingly, we wear the difficulty of our task and our meager returns from the water as a badge of courage and we like it that way. Bottom line, it is not easy to get the samples we are trying for but we keep trying....and are actually getting results.
Morning taxi on its way into the dock 
Erlend's boat provides ideal working condition and looks really cool.
To the seagulls that are mocking us: it was a pretty standard day on Ingoya (our second to last), we worked a full day's shift on the seas (the ground is moving as I write this to prove it), got a handful of live clams from ~500 ft. depth, and even managed to catch a couple of fish during the 7-minute window from when the dredge is released to when Erlend exclaims "We try!" Good day and the sea provides, we abides...
The returns from a ~20 minute dredge at about 500 ft. depth. The area we are trying for is deep and devoid of stones but proving tough to fill the dredge. The bottom type is right for the clams but also seems to be littered with shell remnants and urchins. Every few dredge 'the graveyard' turns up live specimens. 
When done correctly, you can catch science and dinner in the same drift
Every live A. Islandica from the deep water is a cause for celebration.  These deep water clams will tell us information on previously unstudied parts of the the North Atlantic currents as well as how these organisms (at the extent of their habitable environment) compare to the shallow water specimens we can collect in abundance. 

The picture all of my friends from rural Maine have been waiting to, catching fish for dinner while we work is the least carbon-intensive form of sustenance. There is not much reason to buy frozen fish in Tromso when...
Expert in dissection? 
Experts in digestion. The camp ate well tonight. 
One more full day here on the island...

PM infantry update: The weather was conducive for a day of cleaning up yesterday's recon. mission w/ Mike, Julie, and Sam on the ground while we were out on the boat. They were able to survey the beach terrace elevations we sampled yesterday as a group and also collect more in-situ material for radiocarbon dating. In-situ means in-position and this important so that we can tie the radiocarbon ages of the shell materials to the formation of the landform. We avoid shells that find their way to sites through happenstance, such as piled by birds or dug up by anything other than us, and don't provide any valuable information on the specific of the organism's living environment. 
Sam is either sampling mollusk shells for radiocarbon dating
 or setting the stage for a disastrously hard easter egg hunt...
Mike sights in the elevation of the raised marine beach ridges
"Dr. Retelle, would you be so kind as to jot this down as I voice my field notes in spoken word..."
Sam and Julie for scale as they occupy a divot into the beach ridge

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