All hands on deck

Latitude: 42°11` N
Longitude: 011°44` W
Time: 15:00 GMT
by Chris Lindemann

Linda Holste from University of Hamburg engrossed by the multiple closing zooplankton nets.
© Chris Lindemann (DTU-Aqua)

2ndday on the Atlantic: Today the sun greets us on another day of preparations. With little wind and hardly any waves, it almost feels like a summer cruise, although we are heading north towards a chosen location to test the gear.

Before the final preparations of all the equipment, we meet in small teams to determine everyone`s needs for samples and laboratory space. Making sure everyone gets the samples volumes they need, with the right equipment and at the time of day, or night, is like fitting together a complex jigsaw.

Back on deck, and at least a thousand screws later, the MOCNESS net (Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System) is almost pieced together and ready. We are using nine pairs of nets, each pair with its own closing mechanism that had to be installed manually. The series of mechanisms will allow us to sample discrete horizons of the watercolumn, and at will, so that we only examine depth horizons we are interested in.

Meanwhile, the VPR (Video Plankton Recorder) team is feeling confident and run a test on deck with one of their two “toys”. The CTD Rosette with 24 10-liter water sampling bottles, a central instrument in oceanographic expeditions, is ready to go too. Over 1 000 liters of seawater are needed per station, and from different depths and times of day, for experiments and biogeochemical analysis.

At dinner time, a nice sun-kissed tan marks those setting up the deck instruments form the rest who prepared the laboratories. To find out more about what is going on in the labs, check out tomorrow’s news.

The workhorse of oceanographic expeditions measures the vertical watercolumn structure
© Chris Lindemann (DTU-Aqua)
Cruise leader Jan Backhaus and young scientist Anneke Dende from Un. Hamburg
© Chris Lindemann (DTU-Aqua)
FS METEOR position on 20 March
Check our position in real time

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