It’s really windy out.
In fact, it’s been windy since we got here four days ago.
While this wind event is not nearly as bad as the one two years ago, it still makes us antsy to start dive operations (but our McConaughey attitude helps us out).
In the meantime, we have time to:
Assemble all the equipment
Shipping equipment (especially 30 pieces) to Alaska means that we assemble everything in the field to save space. When the weather clears up, we are ready to
chuck our stuff carefully deploy our instruments in the ocean.
Make sure the equipment works the way you want it to
This is where having a great field team becomes invaluable. Ken and his brothers (our boat operators/electronic specialists/Arctic wizards) have years of experience working in the Arctic and often think of short falls and solutions that I would miss (but I like to think I’m getting better). Our equipment has to withstand cold, salty water that is often extremely murky, and our deployed sensors also have to deal with very strong currents and ice. We want all of our equipment to be effective, efficient, and durable.
It is also important to test your drysuit in Arctic waters, which Arley got to do tonight 🙂
Observe wildlife (from a non-harassing distance of course)
Of course, after all the work prepping for science, prolonged weather days mean that we have time to appreciate where we are (which is far from Texas).
One of the many skills that Arley brings to the field team is knowledge of tundra plants. We had about an hour to wander the tundra behind the hardware store in Deadhorse and I got to learn some of them. As a taxonomy nerd, this was awesome!
By the time nicer weather rolls around (hopefully tomorrow), we will be quite ready to get going! Everyone do a weather dance!