More than half way through the mission we have completed 40 water column (CTD) casts, 33 Video Plankton Recorder (VPR) casts, 19 Bongo net casts, 16 Ring net casts and 8 Multi-net casts. Last week we collected data along a transect line north of Barrow, Alaska. This particular area is studied in a collaborative effort by scientists all over the world. The data retrieved from this mission will be the first contributions of data collected in that area during this time of year! The focus of study is organic carbon. Organic carbon is the principal energy source for oceanic bacteria. In addition to the study of copepods for the first time in Arctic winter, this mission also marks the first study of Arctic organic carbon in the water column. The science party is working to explain bacteria distribution and establish its significance in carbon dioxide and biomass cycles.
Over the weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving! The Food Service staff prepared an excellent feast with all the traditional fixings. To top it all off FS3 Gomes prepared exceptional apple and sweet potato pies for the crew. Also over the weekend the morale committee hosted a casino night and bingo, followed by the showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, on the big screen in the hangar. The sun and temperatures are beginning to rise again as we continue south into the Bering Sea working to complete our final science stations.