Wednesday, July 10, 2013

BATS 295 Day 6

Yesterday the ocean was amazingly calm! There wasn't a wave in sight! We had finished sampling in the morning and spent the afternoon washing bottles and sorting out samples as we sailed to various spatial stations to take CTD profiles. Spatial stations are points in the ocean that surround BATS. There are 25 spatial stations and by taking CTD profiles at these locations it gives us a better idea of what is happening in the ocean over a larger area.

The highlight of the afternoon was the freshly baked doughnuts by Greg and Dexter!

Whilst we were traveling between stations I spoke to BATS intern David Picton about his first research cruise experience. David is currently an undergraduate student at Newcastle University studying microbiology. Here is a quick Q & A about his time on the R/V Atlantic Explorer! 

Why did you choose to apply for a BIOS internship?
I applied for an internship because I wanted to get hands on experience in the field of oceanography. As an undergraduate I do not yet have a field of expertise, so I really wanted to get a perspective of oceanography. The reason I applied for a BIOS internship was significant, what better place to be introduced to oceanography than a world renowned research center in Bermuda, a country I dreamed of visiting. Applying for this internship has probably been the most rewarding thing I've done in years.

What has been your favorite thing about the cruise?
Being able to work as part of professional team that have offered so much in the way of aiding my learning. There are scientists from all backgrounds aboard the ship, each being able to give a fresh perspective and to help give me a better understanding of the various procedures going on.

David working on the back deck
What have been some of your favorite moments at sea?
Waking up to see the sun rise over a horizon untouched by land, with nothing but calm ocean water surrounding me was a pretty surreal experience. Watching it set the following evening was an equal spectacle.

Was going to sea like you expected?
Honestly, I had packed enough packets of sea sickness tablets to supply the whole crew, and I haven’t opened a single packet. I was expecting ten meter waves and having to strap myself into my bed. It’s a crazy vision to look down from the side of the deck and see your face in the water.

Have you enjoyed the cruise?
It’s a great environment to gain experience but it’s also a wonderful place to relax. There are views so beautiful and tranquil they’re hard to capture in a photograph. Whether I would be saying this if we had ten meter waves is another question.

Washing bottles! Every scientists favorite job!

Sum up the cruise in three words…
Tranquil, rewarding and coffee!

Do you want to work at sea again?
Definitely! This is my first time actually being at sea, and it’s something I want to repeat.

Can you picture yourself doing research at sea?
I would like to look into studying microbial oceanography; it would cross over my interest in microbiology and enjoyment for practical science. This cruise has changed my perspective on what I want to do. I would like to not be solely based in a lab but go out and practice research in the field.

I just want to say a big thank you to David for taking the time to answer my questions and also for being a brilliant help on this cruise! You definitely made 2am night tows more enjoyable! 

Day 6 finished with a beautiful sunset! A brilliant end to a brilliant day! Tomorrow  we are heading back to BIOS! 

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