You may have noticed that I haven’t posted any sea ice pictures yet. Long time readers of this blog might find that a bit odd given how much I love sea ice. There is a reason for that. There hasn’t been much sea ice at all. On the upside we can get into whatever area we want because the waterway is clear. On the down side, we haven’t seen many penguins or seals, or at least not many photogenic ones hauled out on ice
For the past three years, we have been trying to get to the Gerlache Strait, an area south of our usual sampling grid. Each year we were blocked by sea ice. This year we finally made it! Sadly we didn’t find a lot of sea ice there either, but the views were spectacular!
Another reason I haven’t posted in a little while is because I have been sooooo busy. I work the night shift, midnight to noon. In the Gerlache Strait, that was the krill catching shift. We had so many krill! I was going cross-eyed measuring, sexing (determining if they were male or female) and staging (determining how ready they are to make baby krill ) them. When we get a krill haul it is all hands on deck to work through the krill. We are collecting for five different projects, and maintaining AMLR’s database. We need to fully sex and stage at least two hundred krill per tow, label and store them! Basically my entire shift is spent dealing with krill. I would just finish one tow, when the net came up with more krill.
We try to count every single krill that comes on board, but some times the net is just too full. so we sub sample and extrapolate to how many krill were in the whole catch.
Now that we have finished in the Gerlache we are moving on to the Bransfield. There should also be a ton of krill there too. I am think I am going to be putting krill under the microscope until I go cross eyed!