Antarctic Blog 10 April 2017

Flying fish and other peculiarities – Leg 4 from Cape Town to Europe

by Katrianne Lehtipalo

Position 51.18724 N / 1.7779 E on Apr 10, 2017 at 06:29
Science team on Leg4
The final part of the ACE expedition, Leg 4, is coming to an end. After weeks of wind and sunshine, we are expected to arrive in rainy Bremerhaven on Tuesday. All are counting the days to get back home to friends, family and a decent internet connection. We can notice getting closer to the civilization also by looking at our data. A clear increase in the number of small particles and some of the gas concentrations is telling about increasing anthropogenic influence.

As atmospheric scientists we are lucky in the sense that most of our instruments are sampling automatically and continuously and we do not have to wake up at funny hours to collect samples, as some of our colleagues at the ship are doing every night. Still, we have spent more than 3 weeks continuously on our workplace doing long days without weekends. There is a constant feeling of responsibility for the instruments and the quality of the measurements. All-too-familiar campaign life, which is to me somehow simultaneously the best and worst part of this profession.
Automatic filter collector on top of Akademic Tryoshnikov
During this trip we have collected a data set, which is rare to obtain. At the same time, we collected some experiences, which are rare to obtain. We have seen chemiluminescent phytoplankton, flying fish and dolphins chasing the ship. We got to learn how a modern research ice-breaker operates, even try driving it - not so easy as it looks like! On Andrea’s birthday we filled rubber gloves with helium to make balloons and sipped drinks with ice from Antarctica in a tropical night.
Andrea is driving the ship. (Photo: Inigo Everson)
Thanks to the ACE-SPACE team, PSI and Julia for the chance to take part in this journey!

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