|Icy Inverts 2004|
|Daily Journal of the R/V Laurence M. Gould|
|Dec. 13, 2004 --- Position Lat/Long: S 66° 33.0000 W069° 59.5300 |
[Wind: NNE 6-8kn / Air Temp: -1.6C /Depth: 443m / Seas 1-2ft / Boat Speed: 0.2k SOG]
|The Great Big News today is that late in the evening Sunday and into the morning Monday, we Crossed the Line to the Antarctic Circle!! We had been creeping down on it all day, stopping for science, etc. It was a lovely, calm but overcast night, and we could see weather on parts of the horizon.|| Photo1 || |
But finally at about 2220 (10:20 p.m. Sunday), the engines were cut and there was only the light drone of the generators. Believe me, that’s really quiet. Scott Flanagan was at the helm, and his communication with the rest of the crew was that he had positioned the LMG so that she would DRIFT over the line. Susie and Will put out the plankton nets so we would have “one tow over the line”. …Sweet Jesus. Downstairs in the Lounge, there was a group watching the TV monitor with the blowup of the ship’s coordinates and weather details. There were a few of us on the Bridge with Scott: Rudi Scheltema, Ken Halanych, Raul Reta, Vicke Starczak, Regina Campbell-Malone and myself. The Eagles were singing “Peaceful, Easy Feelin’ in the background. We watched the navigational instrument that was getting the Latitude/Longitude reading directly from the satellites, and it ticked down the numbers… S66o 32.9800 … S66o 32.9900… oooh, a wind shift, the boat stays put for a moment and starts to rotate, then comes back and… S66o 33.0000!!! We are ON the LINE!!! Huzzah!! Huzzah!!! Huz-zah? (Oh, excuse me, am I the only one excited about this? Wait a minute, I think Rudi’s eyebrows went up and down, once.) There were smiles and nods all around, and there you are, folks, the secret ritual of what happens when you cross into the Antarctic Circle on the LMG in December 2004. [See Images 1 and 2]
Now, for the fun people… First we went a little south of the line and did some scientific tows there. It was not in the master plan to dally In The Circle, so we headed north again and approached the line at about 1 a.m. (this day really, but we’ve got to keep this event tied together any way we can). And by now you know who comes out to play at 1 a.m., don’t you? Dive Operations Team!!!! The “over 40’s” (had to draw the line somewhere – not everyone who dives can go out all at once) suited up and went out in the zodiac a little upstream of the drift, offloaded for dive ops and drifted themselves over the line! Now, that’s a celebration with a plan! Ehhhh, they even picked up a few samples while they were out there – nothin’s for nothin’ out here, you know. They were modestly pumped when they returned. Ken Halanych had gone out on the zodiac, too, and put the Line coordinates into Sandy Williams’ handheld GPS. (Sandy has been traveling so much, his GPS has now become more of a cocktail party coffee table centerpiece than a mere instrument of navigation.)
Later in the day a benthic trawl was done with “Patches”, the old faithful green net. But, alas, ol’ Patches had all that it could take, and blew out - for good this time. The net came up in tatters and all but empty. However, given careful scrutiny, the team on watch for Patches’ Last Trawl found a lone brittle star that had not prior to this been seen on this trip, it may even be a new species! Never shall we say ‘all is lost’. We now have a new net on the rig, and it’s picking up bottom fauna like a charm.
Although it’s first load was a relatively small one, it was unusually heavy. When they tipped it over, two huge rocks (knee high!) fell out with the rest of the flora and fauna associated with the haul of really large worms, some snails, isopods, clams and a few small fish [See Image 3]. Large rocks are not usually trapped in this rig. I suppose this was the monolith sent by Neptune to mark the day.