Walk the Line, P: Out to Sea

by Sara Zeidan

We left the Institute of Ocean Sciences, in Sidney BC, yesterday afternoon (August 17th) and are currently on the track of Line P. The day before we left was loading day and it really highlighted how much effort and people are required to get a scientific cruise together. It was really great to see the array of scientific gear required for everyone’s projects and made me eager to get everything started and embark on this cruise. Once everything was loaded I had the opportunity to help set up the equipment needed for the cesium filtration. Richard made the system much simpler to run because one look at the system on a few hours of sleep can make anyone go crazy.

Once we got out to sea and hit the swells I realized that I don’t get seasick, either because of the medication I’ve been taking, or I’m naturally made for the ocean. (I’m hoping it’s the latter.) Nonetheless, it seems I quickly formed my sea legs making watch shifts and lab work go a lot smoother.

We’ve visited all the sites along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the continental shelf. Due to their proximity to the land a lot of the surface waters contained high amounts of biological activity. This unfortunately can clog up our resin system, so Richard filtered our surface samples through a mesh to collect this biological activity, and for the most part it seemed to help avoid major build up.

Typical bongo nets used for collecting zooplankton samples. A finer mesh size could be used for collecting phytoplankton as well.

We also just collected our first depth profile samples. We sampled 60L of water at 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400 and 500 m, requiring our filtration system to be in full gear. I also managed to collect some plankton samples within the continental shelf, giving me the opportunity to work with the bongo nets. So far everything has gone smoothly and I’m hoping it stays this way. I write this post as I monitor our filtration system with the beautiful open ocean in view and fresh ocean breeze.

Till next post!

Other posts from Line P in 2016: The Plan, Out to Sea, Big Blue

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