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With a Little Help from Our Friends

06/08/2010, 12:32 PM by Lollie Garay
SSSG Robbie and Victoria go over paperwork.<br/><br/>Credit: lollie garay
SSSG Robbie and Victoria go over paperwork.
Photo Credit: lollie garay

June 6

Lat/Long: 06.30N 051.20W

Air Temp: 27.9C 82F

Surface Temp: 30.10C

Salinity: 22.79 psu


There was a blanket of humidity wrapped around the ship today that made even the smallest movements seem monumental. Add to that the fact that there was no wind and you get the idea of what it was like here today. (It actually reminded me of home in Houston!) Of course, there was no slowing down of work. We’re on a mission and weather just has to work around us!


Getting back to the issue of work, I’d like to talk about the support we’ve received from a special team of SSSGs (Shipboard Scientific Services Group) from WHOI. The job of the SSSGs is to assist the scientific team in the use and maintenance of the equipment and tools they use in their work (CTD,s, plankton nets, etc.)


SSSG Robbie Laird has worked with WHOI for 10 years( most of that time on the Knorr), but has been on boats his entire life. He has 3rd Mate certification and an Engineers License. He also told me that he worked for awhile on the Cleanwater, an educational boat on the Hudson River. When asked about his favorite cruise, he immediately responded with two: Arctic work at 80 degrees N and Greenland; and dredging the “monstrous seas” of the Southern Ocean.


SSSG Anton Zafero has worked with WHOI for 6 years. He was in the Navy for 4 years and was trained in aviation electronics. Anton also worked for 5 years on the RV Atlantis. I was especially interested in his work with the Alvin submersible because my classrooms are very familiar with the work the Alvin has done. Naturally, his favorite cruise is going to the bottom of the sea in the Alvin! Hard to beat that!


By the time we were underway towards the next station the dark skies were full of stars.

Rachel Horak and I were out on deck enjoying the ride as we steamed across the black seas. And black they were! Walking out from the lab you suddenly find yourself totally disoriented by the darkness-the sky and sea are one big blackness! It’s only after a few minutes after your eyes begin to adjust that you can safely move around. And once you can, the view of the night sky is breathtaking.




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Question of the Day

  • Do the bacteria in the water make us sick?

    Only a few of them.  Bacteria are in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste, water, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. Bacteria recycle nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as nitrogen fixation.