CTD Watch-standers Log: GO-SHIP I05 Week 1

Working together to collect data in the South Indian Ocean along the I05 transect

Us: “Deck, lab. Ready to power on the Log.”

“Lab, Deck. You may power on the Log.”

Us: “Lab, copy.”

All aboard the R/V Roger Revelle, for the next 7 weeks scientists and crew members will be working together to collect data in the South Indian Ocean along the I05 transect. We left the sometimes-rainy Fremantle, Australia on the 22nd of July 2023 for the open ocean after a quick refueling. We were really lucky on our first couple of days with some smooth sailing and clear skies. This meant that we, ship newbies, got some time to adjust to ship life and begin our training. On the CTD team, we have the CTD watch-standers on day shift Alexis Merk, Jomphol Lamoonkit and Kirstin Petzer and on night shift we have Nirmala Nair and Steven Akin. To make sure we don’t crash a CTD, we have our Chief and Co-chief scientists Brendan Carter and Kay McMonigal. From what we have seen we would get nowhere without our Research Technician: Royhon Agostine, CTD data analyst: Allen Smith, Rosette expert and salinity analyst: Jessica McLaughlin and electrical technician and salinity analyst: John Calderwood.
Shannon McClish and Kristy McTaggart sitting at the CTD console Pic by Laura Cimoli
CTD watchstanders Alexis, Kirstin, and Jom after a productive round of sampling. Photo by Kay McMonigal

A little bit about the CTD watch-standers day team: Jomphol (Jom) would like to pursue a career in oceanographic engineering and is on board to learn about the experience you can’t get in a classroom and meet new people in the field. Alexis is on board to have first hand knowledge on how oceanography data is collected in the field. Kirstin is on board to gain experience in data collection and explore future career options. As we had our first official meeting, held by Brendan and Kay, we came to understand how important this cruise will be to gathering data on the Indian ocean and how it will be crucial for a multitude of studies in the region.

CTD watchstander view sampling
CTD watchstander view during sampling for Bio GO-SHIP. Photo by Jomphol (Jom) Lamoonkit

Our CTD training was a bit overwhelming at first but after some practical experience (and some strengthening of arm muscles) operations started going much more efficiently. We have also been helping out with the other science teams. We have been gaining experience sampling from the CTD Niskin bottles, attaching the LADCP cords to the CTD and downloading the data after a cast. A few things we have learned so far would have to be 1) even if you are eating lunch make sure to hold on during rough swell, 2) at the beginning of a new sampling technique don’t be fooled by the professionals it is a lot more complicated than it looks and you may feel like a baby giraffe figuring out where to put your hands and of course 3) when doing chemical samples don’t lick anything!

If you want to know more about our night owl team and more on our life at sea, please join us next week for the CTD watch-standers Log Week 2.

Us: “Deck, lab. The Log power is off.”

~Kirstin Petzer