Thursday 31 January 2008 à 14:53

Data for the Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position of the icebreaker
-63° 29.7 S, 139° 59.3 E (latitude, longitude)
Current speed
On Station kts (knots)

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Thursday 31 January 2008 à 11:51

The day of the jellies!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

The sea is relatively calm and the weather is magnificent. It is 3°! It is a beautiful Antarctic summer day. The lack of wind affords us a real sense of warmth!

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Wednesday 30 January 2008 à 18:16

Data for the Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position of the icebreaker :
- Latitude : -62° 29.2 S
- Longitude : 139° 58.6 E
Current speed : on Station knots

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Wednesday 30 January 2008 à 11:58

The first specimens!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

We are peacefully settled into the rhythm of the shifts. The first night was little short. We are all passionate and excited by the first samples. We want to identify all the teleost fishes that we have collected.

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Tuesday 29 January 2008 à 18:36

Data for the Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position :
-61 59.2, 140 02.4 (degrees latitude, longitude)
Current speed :
On Station kts (knots)
Distance in last 24 hours :
282 Nm (nautical miles)Lire la suite

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Tuesday 29 January 2008 à 14:26

Welcome to the mesopelagic world!

Philippe Koubbi. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

Welcome to the mesopelagic world, where light beings to disappear. By volume, this is the world’s largest habitat.

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Tuesday 29 January 2008 à 14:18

Arrived in the zone at last!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

We have finally arrived in the zone! The position of our first station is 62°S and 140°E. We are relieved that the weather is good today. Beginning a campaign with mild meteorological conditions will let us harmonize our ways of working and learn the organization and rhythm of working on board.

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Monday 28 January 2008 à 18:39

Data for the Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position :
-57° 58.2 S, 135° 11.6E (degrees latitude, longitude)
Current speed :15.7 kts (knots)
Distance in last 24 hours : 332 Nm (nautical miles)

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Monday 28 January 2008 à 18:36

Quick guided tour of the Umitaka Maru

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

Today is our last day of crossing. We are going to arrive in the work zone during the night. The entire scientific team meets to organize the division of the work for the duration of the operations.

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Sunday 27 January 2008 à 18:29

Getting closer to the zone

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

This morning, we have a western breakfast with coffee and croissants. The day is rather calm. We are impatient to arrive in the zone. Our arrival is anticipated for January 29 at 3h in the morning.

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Sunday 27 January 2008 à 18:18

Data for the Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position of the icebreaker
Latitude: 53°12 S
Longitude: 130°14

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Sunday 27 January 2008 à 11:48

An exclusive interview with Edi!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Today, to close our adventure on the Aurora Australis, I’d like to introduce you to a person we have much appreciated and who is indispensable on board. This is Edi, the ship’s doctor.

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Saturday 26 January 2008 à 17:36

Awarding certificates

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

This morning, many of us wake to the sound of a thundering announcement: “Good morning to all expeditioneers! As you know, today is Australia Day. You are invited to the traditional Devonshire Tea in the mess at 10:00!”

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Saturday 26 January 2008 à 17:31

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 44°01.034’ S
- longitude: 147°25.720’ E
Wind:
- direction: N-NE
- speed: 16 knots
Water temperature: 16.3 °C
Air temperature: 16.1 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 1,010 HPa
Relative humidity: 85 %
UV B: 7 W/m²
Water depth: 3,225 meters
Sunset: 20h46 / sunrise: 06h00

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Saturday 26 January 2008 à 12:17

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 26/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 340
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -47 57.5, 145 47.6
HEADING: 357T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 12.0 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): 187 to PULSE mooring
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 289.5
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast with low cloud, 7/8th cover, good visibility, winds 23 kts from 330T gusting to 25 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: 11.5
SEA TEMPERATURE: 11
SEA CONDITIONS: Vessel rolling slightly in moderate seas and NW'ly swell 20-3m
ICE CONDITIONS: Nil
REMARKS: The swell has moderated significantly since yesterday and everyone is much more comfortable as the ship gently rolls its way home via the PULSE mooring at about 45S. People still busy packing, processing data and preparing results. The partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in the ocean and atmosphere will continue to be measured until we reach Tasmania. The region of greatest CO2 concentration in the surface waters was measured at the SubAntarctic front (-53.8 S), where oceanic pCO2 was up to 25% above atmospheric levels. The SubAntarctic zone is a region of uptake for atmospheric CO2 throughout the year, with the highest uptake over summer due to shallower mixed layers and increased biological production. It is now well known that even slight acidification of the ocean caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels will make it hard for some animals to build or maintain calcium carbonate shells. The combination of benthic biologists and chemists on the voyage has provided an excellent opportunity for exploring the likely impact of ocean acidification on the sea-bed living animals around Antarctica.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Friday 25 January 2008 à 18:29

Data for the Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position :
-42° 48 S, 121° 04 E (degrees latitude, longitude)
Current speed : 16.4 kts (knots)
Distance to next waypoint : 1360 Nm (nautical miles)

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Friday 25 January 2008 à 17:28

Thanks to everyone!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The CEAMARC-CASO expedition on board the Aurora Australis is ending!

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Friday 25 January 2008 à 17:25

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 47°22.711’ S
- longitude: 145°45.661’ E
Wind:
- direction: N
- speed: 23 knots
Water temperature: 11 °C
Air temperature: 11.9 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 1,010 HPa
Relative humidity: 80 %
UV B: 3 W/m²
Water depth: 3,225 meters
Sunset: 21h04 / sunrise: 05h54

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Friday 25 January 2008 à 12:20

Position of Astrolabe at 06:34 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

52°13 S
145°06 E

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Thursday 24 January 2008 à 18:26

First night at sea!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

Our first night at sea went well. We rounded the cape at the far southwest end of Australia. During the night, the wind was against us.

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Thursday 24 January 2008 à 17:22

Consolidating the data from the campaign

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Our last night was a very short one. The party was a real success. We went to bed late (or early, depending on the person!). The ocean swells invited themselves and were particularly strong, which kept us from sleeping soundly.

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Thursday 24 January 2008 à 17:18

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 51°74.062’ S
- longitude: 144°14.844’ E
Wind:
- direction: NW
- speed: 24 knots
Water temperature: 7.2 °C
Air temperature: 8.5 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 1,005 HPa
Relative humidity: 80 %
UV B: 7.7 W/m²
Water depth: 3,468 meters
Sunset: 21h29 / sunrise: 05h41

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Thursday 24 January 2008 à 12:35

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 24/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 339
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -52 25.3, 143 26.4
HEADING: 044T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 13.0 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): 466
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 247.3
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly cloudy, with sunny intervals, fine, good visibility, winds 25 kts from 270T gusting to 30 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: 7.5
SEA TEMPERATURE: 7.6
SEA CONDITIONS: Rough seas and heavy W'ly swell 4m
ICE CONDITIONS: Nil
REMARKS: The heavy swell caused a bit of motion in the ship last night and the vessel course is being adjusted slightly to minimise discomfort while still making good speed. Although most of the scientific sampling is now complete, some will continue until we steam up the Derwent. The CO2 group are still measuring pCO2 in surface waters and the atmosphere, are taking 6 hourly underway samples for 02, CO2, salinity, nutrients and oxygen isotopes and are continuing to analyse CTD samples previously collected. The phytoplankton group are continuing with underway sampling of surface water from the seawater line 2 to 4 times per day to assess phytoplankton productivity. Most on board are continuing to process samples, collate data or prepare preliminary reports. Last night the ship's company was treated to a soiree-style entertainment featuring many of the very talented musicians and performers on board. Our thanks go to all involved for making it a very special occasion.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Thursday 24 January 2008 à 12:00

Position of Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Current speed
17.4 kts (knots)

Distance in last 24 hours
385 Nm (nautical miles)

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Wednesday 23 January 2008 à 18:18

Departure!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

Today it’s finally time to depart!

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Wednesday 23 January 2008 à 18:16

Data for Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Position
- 32° 54 S, 114 ° 55 E (degrees latitude, longitude)
Current speed : 16.3 kts (knots)
Distance in last 24 hours : 95 Nm (nautical miles)

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Wednesday 23 January 2008 à 17:11

The end of the mission draws near

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The music group that came together on the ship from the beginning of the expedition is rehearsing seriously for the finale this evening.

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Wednesday 23 January 2008 à 17:00

Position of Umitaka Maru

Graham Hosie (CEAMARC Leader) and Takashi Ishimaru (Voyage Leader)

Date
23 January 2008

Universal Time
0600

Australian Time (Eastern Summer)
1700

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Wednesday 23 January 2008 à 12:00

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 23/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 338
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -56 31.5, 141 59.4
HEADING: 010T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 11.5 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): 700 DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24
HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 227.6
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly cloudy, distant rain, winds 25 kts from 303T gusting to 30 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: 4.7 SEA
TEMPERATURE: 4.3
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate to rough seas and moderate WNW'ly swell 3m
ICE CONDITIONS: Nil
REMARKS: This morning the last of the CTD casts for genomic analysis of marine microorganisms near the seabed was taken in depths of a little over 3000m. The Continuous Plankton Recorder is now being towed behind the ship on the second of three deployments for the return journey. During each deployment it collects zooplankton from the near surface waters on a silk spool that is gradually wound past the opening in the CPR using a simple clockwork mechanism driven by a small propeller. When analysed, differences in the zooplankton community over the 400 mile deployment can be identified.
Everyone busy on board processing data, collating reports and preparing paperwork for arrival in Hobart.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Wednesday 23 January 2008 à 11:13

Position of Astrolabe at 11:13 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

55°59S
143°60 E

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Tuesday 22 January 2008 à 18:08

Final preparations!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

We have just spent our second night on board. Starting at 7h30, we eat breakfast on board. This meal is basically made up of seafood. This morning, we have pieces of marinated mackerel, dried shrimp, green beans in a sticky, stringy sauce, all accompanied by rice, soup and tea.

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Tuesday 22 January 2008 à 17:03

How to conserve Antarctic specimens that are collected?

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The mission is reaching its end! We have to be sure that the specimens we’ve collected are well dried out. If they are not, there is a risk of organisms mildewing during the return trip, which will take them to different laboratories in several countries the world over.

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Tuesday 22 January 2008 à 14:10

Position of Astrolabe at 06:31 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

66°30S
140°05 E

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Tuesday 22 January 2008 à 10:26

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 22/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 337
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -60 23.7, 141 05.8
HEADING: 012T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 13.0 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): 1024.6
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 208.4
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast with low cloud and occasional fog patches, winds 21 kts from 260T
AIR TEMPERATURE: 3.1
SEA TEMPERATURE: 3.1
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate seas and W'ly swell 3m
ICE CONDITIONS: Nil
REMARKS: The last of the 12 CASO CTD casts along the SR3 transect was completed at 2000 hrs last night. This was the 130th CTD for the voyage, with 44 samples taken along the CASO transects and a further 86 at the CEAMARC sites. The SR3 transect was first occupied in 1991 by Aurora Australis; the present voyage will be the 7th re-occupation of the line. The time series of measurements along SR3 is the longest and most continuous set of observations available to document changes in the deep and bottom waters of the Southern Ocean. The CASO CTD stations east of the Mertz Glacier taken earlier in the voyage showed clearly that the bottom water flowing west from the Ross Sea is significantly fresher than observed in the 1990s. The SR3 line of stations just completed will show whether the bottom water produced in the Mertz Polynya region is also changing. The CTD samples taken at the CEAMARC sites will provide key information on physical conditions in the overlying waters that may help explain the distribution and abundance patterns seen in the communities of bottom-living animals. With an average depth of about 1300m for all 130 sites, a total of about 170kms of CTD wire has been paid out from the winch and wound back in again during the course of the voyage.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Monday 21 January 2008 à 16:51

Measure, weigh, sex, sample

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The last work is going on in the wet lab. The scientists have spent a total of three weeks sampling specimens brought up from the Southern Ocean.

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Monday 21 January 2008 à 16:42

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 63°50.823’ S
- longitude: 139°53.775’ E
Wind:
- direction: W
- speed: 12 knots
Water temperature: 1.9 °C
Air temperature: 2.2 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 984 HPa
Relative humidity: 100 %
UV B: 5 W/m²
Water depth: 3,750 meters
Sunset: 23h18 / sunrise: 04h26

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Monday 21 January 2008 à 16:16

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 21/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 336
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -63 52, 139 52.6
HEADING: 080T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 0 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 96.1 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: In fog, poor visibility to less than 0.5 nm, light winds 8 kts from 295T
AIR TEMPERATURE: 1.6
SEA TEMPERATURE: 1.3
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas and moderate W'ly swell to 2-3m
ICE CONDITIONS: Nil, Open water.
REMARKS: After finishing the CEAMARC survey at midnight a day and a half ago we steamed to the start of a series of 12 CASO CTD water sampling sites in a transect from the edge of the continental shelf northwards into the Southern Ocean. At the time of writing we are sampling the last but one of these, with the final samples to be collected at latitude 63 21S this evening from just below the sea surface to just above the seabed at a depth of 3812m. If the Aurora Australis were a large orange hot-air balloon flying over Hobart at this height above sea-level and attempting to sample the air down to the surface of Constitution Dock it would be floating at three times the height of Mt Wellington (1270m).
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Sunday 20 January 2008 à 18:25

Crustaceans in Antarctica?

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

My name is Bertrand Richer de Forges and I am a specialist in crustaceans (malacostracans). In these few lines, I propose to lead you on an exploration of this group.

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Sunday 20 January 2008 à 18:14

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 65°17.603’ S
- longitude: 139°52.812’ E
Wind:
- direction: W
- speed: 25 knots
Water temperature: -0.6 °C
Air temperature: -1 °C and -20 °C in the wind!
Atmospheric pressure: 990 HPa
Relative humidity: 75 %
UV B: 2.7 W/m²
Water depth: 2,750 meters
Sunset: 23h42 / sunrise: 04h01

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Sunday 20 January 2008 à 17:57

Immediate embarkation!

Philippe Koubbi. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

The team embarks on the Umitaka Maru. The ship is big! There are several decks with the different categories of people on the ship spread among them: cadets (student officers), scientists, sailors and officers.

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Sunday 20 January 2008 à 16:15

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 20/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 335
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 24.7, 139 50.7
HEADING: 329T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 4.4 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 70 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, visibility good, wind 27 kts gusting to 30 kts from 275T
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1.5
SEA TEMPERATURE: 0.7
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate seas and NW swell to 2.5m
ICE CONDITIONS: Nil, Open water.
REMARKS: Yesterday water samples were collected from 7 sites at a range of distances from the large ice-berg using the Fast Rescue Craft (FRC). While sampling was happening, the Aurora Australis maintained its position down-wind and down-current to ensure there was no risk of the ship contaminating the surface waters. These samples are to be analysed for ultra-low levels of trace elements and even the presence of the ship's hull in the immediate sampling area could compromise the results. Recovery of the FRC was delayed while a mechanical problem was fixed. The ship then returned to each of the sites sampled from the FRC and took a CTD sample to be used to define the extent of influence of melt water from the iceberg. We returned to the CEAMARC canyon site just before the shift change at midnight to resume sampling with the intention of deploying the trawl mounted digital camera in a transect from 850m to 1300m. The plan was to document the transition from the abundant shallower fauna to the less diverse deeper communities and then to sample with the French beam trawl. Unfortunately, by this time the wind was too strong to maintain the ship on the correct course at the low speeds required for trawling. Prudence dictated it was time to call a halt and CEAMARC sampling officially finished at 8 minutes past midnight. Overall, 82 different sites were occupied during CEAMARC, with samples collected from at least 78 sites; well in excess of the 67 sites we had hoped for. Everyone involved is to be congratulated for putting in an enormous and sustained effort to achieve such an excellent result.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Saturday 19 January 2008 à 17:47

The Umitaka Maru at last!

Patrice Pruvost. Correspondent aboard the Umitaka Maru

This morning, after several days of waiting in Fremantle (Australia), the Umitaka Maru finally arrives in port. We are all very impatient to explore this ship that we have been talking about for months now!

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Saturday 19 January 2008 à 16:14

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 19/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 334
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 37.0, 141 05.3
HEADING: 022T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 4 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 102.3 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Low cloud, sunny intervals, passing snow flurries, visibility variable, wind 14 kts gusting to 15 from 270T
AIR TEMPERATURE: 0.2
SEA TEMPERATURE: 1.2
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas and low confused swell
ICE CONDITIONS: Very large iceberg 2 miles to port, numerous smaller bergs on radar, bergy bits and growlers nearby, otherwise open water.
REMARKS: As predicted, sampling the very rugged seabed in this canyon system at the edge of the continental shelf has been difficult. The results, however, have been well worth the effort. At the cost of some torn trawl nets, we have managed to get imagery and samples down to 1500m, with the very diverse seabed offering up a similarly diverse fauna. Last night we recorded the most fish species from any one trawl - 16 including at least one which was new to this survey. The benthic invertebrates were similarly diverse with a great range of sedentary groups, such as sponges, bryozoans (lace coral), tunicates (sea squirts), gorgonians and some very large solitary corals, forming the main supporting structure for an equally diverse variety of mobile groups such as polychaete worms, amphipod crustaceans, ophuroids (brittle stars), crinoids (feather stars), echinoids (sea urchins), asteroids (sea stars), pycnogonids (sea spiders) and a range of molluscs. Early this morning we stopped the benthic work temporarily and switched our efforts to sampling the waters around the very large ice-berg nearby, with the intention of identifying whether it is a source of trace nutrients that might stimulate plankton growth. Satellite imagery indicates the iceberg is about 35 km long by 18 km wide. If it is 400m deep, it contains 252,000,000,000,000 litres of water or 12 million litres for every one of the 21 million Australians. You would need a pool 3m deep by 40m wide by 100m long to hold your share. The berg is designated B-17A and came into this region in October 2006. It comes from a large chunk of the Ross Ice Shelf that calved between 160-165W in April 2000. This section subsequently broke up, with other fragments heading in the opposite direction.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Saturday 19 January 2008 à 15:42

Fishing for water on the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

After 78 CTD stations, some 1,200 bottles of water have been sampled by Steve Rintoul’s team. The Aurora Australis is heading today for an iceberg known in the region since 2006.

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Saturday 19 January 2008 à 15:33

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 65°35.669’ S
- longitude: 141°35.380’ E
Wind:
- direction: W
- speed: 12 knots
Water temperature: -1 °C
Air temperature: -0.2 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 982 HPa
Relative humidity: 75 %
UV B: 7.3 W/m²
Water depth: 1,330 meters
Sunset: 23h47 / sunrise: 03h49

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Saturday 19 January 2008 à 13:41

Farewell to Antarctica!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

The campaign is over for the CEAMARC program. We arrange the materiel and the samples.

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Friday 18 January 2008 à 15:54

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 18/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 333
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 39.7, 140 32.8
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 102.3 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Partly cloudy, otherwise fine and sunny, good visibility, wind 7 kts from 60T
AIR TEMPERATURE: 1.0
SEA TEMPERATURE: 1.0
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas and moderate WNW swell 3-4 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Scattered grounded bergs including one very large berg (~35km long) to the NNE, otherwise open water.
REMARKS: We are now sampling the second of the transects into deep water over the edge of the continental shelf. This one is down the path of what appears to be a drainage canyon based on detailed multi-beam imagery. The sea-bed here is very rugged and the sampling is particularly difficult - which is the reason why it was left to the end of the CEAMARC phase of the voyage. There is too much risk of damaging the gear for us to have attempted it earlier. However, the deck crew have done an excellent job of deploying the equipment over very difficult terrain and we have been rewarded with superb imagery and samples. We are again seeing many of the species that previously were only found in the 'coral garden' reported down a similar slope in the western sector. Here the diversity appears to be somewhat greater as it is not so completely dominated by a few very abundant species. We had contact with a second fishing vessel yesterday afternoon, owned by the same company as the one seen a day ago.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Friday 18 January 2008 à 15:27

Parade of stars on the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The popping flashes echo from a distance. Passing before the door to the wet lab, we are blinded by the dazzling and constant bolts of light that filter through the little window. The rumor that has been flying for a bit is finally confirmed: the stars are among us!

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Friday 18 January 2008 à 15:20

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude : 65°41.716’ S
- longitude : 140°32.699’ E
Wind:
- direction: SE
- speed: 7 knots
Water temperature: 0.9 °C
Air temperature: -0.8 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 982 HPa
Relative humidity: 80 %
UV B: 7.7 W/m²
Water depth: 623 meters
Sunset: 00h58 / sunrise: 3h47

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Friday 18 January 2008 à 13:37

Final operations!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

Thomas wakes me at 8h to do another filtration shift. The ship is moving slowly because of the Tubai. It pitches a lot. I finish my shift for better or worse, my stomach lurching.

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Thursday 17 January 2008 à 15:16

A day without end (through the eyes of Team Leader Catherine Ozouf).

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

23h30: The alarm clock rings. I jump out of bed, boot up the computer and rush to the shower: a great way to wake up!

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Thursday 17 January 2008 à 15:05

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude : 65°28.048’ S
- longitude : 139°20.812’ E
Wind:
- direction: SE
- speed: 7 knots
Water temperature: 0.7 °C
Air temperature: 1.3 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 978 HPa
Relative humidity: 72 %
UV B: 7.7 W/m²
Water depth: 830 meters
Sunset: 00h58 / sunrise: 3h47

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Thursday 17 January 2008 à 13:35

Hard, hard!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

We carry out filtrations all day long, alternating with David and Thomas.

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Thursday 17 January 2008 à 13:34

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 17/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 332
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 26.7, 139 18.2
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 86.5 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Partly cloudy, otherwise fine and sunny, good visibility, wind 10 kts from 135T
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1.5
SEA TEMPERATURE: 0.9
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas and low ENE swell 0.5 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Distant bergs, otherwise open water.
REMARKS: We are currently sampling one of two planned transects from shallow (400m) to deep water (1200m) over the edge of the continental shelf. Last night we ran the trawl-mounted still camera down the slope for two hours and got some excellent images of the gradually changing sea-bed. We have also trawled across the slope, at 400m, 800m and 1200m, to collect the animals seen on the photographs, sampled the watercolumn with the CTD and, where the sediment was suitable, collected sea-bed sediments. Yesterday we had two failed trawls at 400m, one because the cod-end blew out, the other collected a single very large rock which damaged the net. We are now returning to the 400m site for one last attempt before moving on to the next transect about 20 miles to the east. At about mid-day yesterday we met a fishing vessel very close to our planned sampling sites. While manoeuvring to identify it we acquired densely spaced depth data using the underway data logging system. This was quickly manipulated by our Data Manager to produce a very accurate bathymetric chart that proved to be very useful in deciding the best line for running the transects.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Wednesday 16 January 2008 à 16:33

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 16/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 331
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 55.2, 139 18.3
HEADING: 357
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 12 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 96.2 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast with 8/8ths low cloud, occasional snow falls, poor visibility, wind 6 kts from 290T gusting to 10 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -0.2
SEA TEMPERATURE: 0
SEA CONDITIONS: Rippled to slight seas and low NNW swell 0.5 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Isolated bergs and occasional growlers, otherwise open water.
REMARKS: The run of good weather and cooperative sea-ice continues. In the past 24 hrs a further 7 sites were sampled, with the night shift once again completing 4 sites in their 12 hr watch. At mid-day today we had sampled 68 sites, one more than the total of 67 originally planned. We are now sampling the first of the additional transects in to deep water over the edge of the continental shelf. The sea-ice has been particularly kind to us - only a few days ago the western-most sites we sampled yesterday were covered with sea-ice and were inaccessible for sampling. The high resolution satellite imagery available to the ship has been invaluable in making decisions about where and when to attempt sampling throughout the voyage. 56 species of fish have now been collected, with 16 species added to the list during this second phase of CEAMARC sampling in the western sector. More than 40 rapid spleen and cephalic kidney cell cultures have been prepared from a wide range of fish species and the best ones will be used later for comparative gene mapping. Primary fibroblast cell lines have been prepared from species representing the most important families of Antarctic notothenioids and successfully grown up for, as far as we know, the first time on board a ship. These will be used for genomic studies on the adaptations of Antarctic fish to their environment.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Wednesday 16 January 2008 à 15:02

Not all equal before the trawl.

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Each time a drag net is hauled up on the trawl deck of the Aurora Australis, the entire shift is ready to spring into action, outfitted in orange combat suits!

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Wednesday 16 January 2008 à 14:58

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 65°35.519’ S
- longitude: 139°15.694’ E
Wind:
- direction: N-W
- speed: 15 knots
Water temperature: - 0.5 °C
Air temperature: - 0.2 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 985 HPa
Relative humidity: 96 %
UV B: 2.7 W/m²
Water depth: 440 meters
Sunset: 00h04 / sunrise: 3h41

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Wednesday 16 January 2008 à 13:33

Knowing how to adapt!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

Impossible to carry out an operation this morning. Finally we can work after lunch. The program on board has changed. We must be back in three days. It has passed quicker than I expected.

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Tuesday 15 January 2008 à 17:45

Position of Astrolabe at 11:03 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

66°45 S
142°55 E

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Tuesday 15 January 2008 à 14:53

Sailing in unknown waters

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Did you know that the moon surface is better known than the topography of the oceans depths. Surprising isn’t it ?

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Tuesday 15 January 2008 à 14:46

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude : 66°23,509’ S
- longitude : 139°48,106’ E
Wind:
- direction: E
- speed: 2 knots
Water temperature: - 1,3 °C
Air temperature: 2,5 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 984 hPa
Relative humidity: 42%
UV-B: 8 W/m²
Water depth: 920 meters
Sunset: 00:26/ sunrise: 03:14

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Tuesday 15 January 2008 à 13:31

The ocean, supreme master on board!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

We have to begin work this morning at 10h; the contingencies of the passages at sea dictate our operations after lunch. An iceberg saves the morning: a pillar of ice stands in the air, tranquilly ignoring the law of gravity. Just to its side, waves are breaking on a massive paving stone pierced by a cave.

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Tuesday 15 January 2008 à 11:27

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 15/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 330
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 24.4S, 139 47.6E
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 0 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 78.8 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear skies and good visibility, wispy high cloud, light wind 4 kts from 62T
AIR TEMPERATURE: 0.5
SEA TEMPERATURE: -1.2
SEA CONDITIONS: Calm seas, low E'ly swell 0.5 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Frequent icebergs, bergy bits and growlers, vessel running in clear water along edge of pack-ice.
REMARKS: Trying to sample the deep (1200 m) basin yesterday was very frustrating. Twice we had the cod-end of the trawl blow out and recovered only a very small haul retained by the coarser outer mesh. The trawl-mounted video camera provided only brief but tantalising glimpses of a sea-bed covered with large numbers of surface feeding sea-cucumbers between long periods of total darkness, caused when the trawl sank to its armpits in the fine diatomaceous ooze. After about 10 hours of trying we moved on to the next site at 800m on the basin slope and, while sampling, considered options for completing the deep basin. The 800m site was sampled in reasonable time, so we returned to the deep site and deployed the French beam with the intention of floating it briefly across the bottom. In the event the trawl was on the bottom for about 8 minutes and came up with a fine haul. The community was dominated by the large elasipodid sea-cucumbers seen on the video, looking very like fat little hippopotamuses grazing on the sea-bed, but included many other species including sea-stars (similar to Acodontaster and Cuenotaster), brittle stars (cf Astrotoma), stalked tunicates (cf Molgula), large gastropods, many small bivalves and several pelagic octopus. The night shift then took over and made up for lost time, completing 4 sites before retiring exhausted. We are well on track to meet our original sampling plan, having completed 91% of sites with 85% of time used. If the weather holds, we will have some time in hand when we have completed the original 67 sites and will use this to sample extra sites in transects over the shelf break to compare with those from the western sector.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Monday 14 January 2008 à 17:46

Position of Astrolabe at 12:37 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

66°42 S
142°27 E

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Monday 14 January 2008 à 15:55

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 26.4S, 140 31.3E
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2.5 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 113.9 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear skies and good visibility, wind decreasing 20 kts from 102T gusting to 25 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: 0.3
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.7
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate seas and moderate confused swell 2-3 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Frequent large icebergs otherwise open water, ice covered continent in sight.
REMARKS: With only a few days of sampling left, weather forecasts and sea-ice conditions from satellite imagery are being continually reviewed and plans fine-tuned to ensure we make the best use of the available time. Yesterday it seemed that some planned sites to the west would be covered in dense pack-ice and not easily reached. The strong south-easterly winds last night which gusted to more than 30 kts, however, seemed to have worked in our favour, moving the edge of the pack-ice westwards and clearing these sites. As a consequence we will try to sample them. Yesterday's shallow sites (~200m) proved to be very diverse with complex multi-layered sponge and bryozoan dominated communities. Unfortunately the trawl with the digital camera which has been providing us with such excellent images of the sea-bed suffered some damage when it landed up-side down. The Science Technical Support wizards have been busy fixing it overnight and it should be operational again soon. The French beam trawl was used at two sites yesterday and it proved very efficient, collecting very large hauls and appearing to retain some of the smaller infauna that may be lost through the mesh of the AAD trawls. We are currently sampling from the bottom (1200m) of a closed basin northeast of Dumont D'Urville, which appears to be a trap for fine sediment - more about this tomorrow.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Monday 14 January 2008 à 14:43

Stefan Chilmonczyk ‘hunt’ for Channichthyids

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Today as everyday, I hope for the presence of a Channichthids specimen in the trawl that comes from the bottom of the southern ocean.

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Monday 14 January 2008 à 14:35

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude : 66°26,639’ S
- longitude : 140°31,497’ E
Wind:
- direction: E-SE
- speed: 12 knots
Water temperature: - 0,8 °C
Air temperature: 0,2 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 985 hPa
Relative humidity: 75%
UV-B: 7.6 W/m²
Water depth: 1030 meters
Sunset: 00:29/ sunrise: 03:04

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Monday 14 January 2008 à 13:23

Icebergs in sight!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

Morning free. We are sailing along the Mertz glacier. It is splendid, lost in the end of this gigantic world.

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Sunday 13 January 2008 à 16:11

Unusual fishes !

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

We are in trouble ! The sea-ice cover in the water off Dumont D’Urville is at time very important. At 4 am we spot a wall of tabular icebergs in the distance !

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Sunday 13 January 2008 à 15:57

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 13/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 328
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 03.7S, 141 17.7E
HEADING: 172
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 13.3 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 116.1 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly low cloud 6/8ths cover, moderate to good visibility, wind 18 kts from 115T gusting to 22 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1.0
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.5
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight to moderate seas and low E'ly swell 0.5 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Frequent large icebergs otherwise open water.
REMARKS: This second phase of CEAMARC benthic sampling started very well with 6 stations completed in the last 24 hrs. We have now caught up with the planned sampling schedule, having 24% of sites left to do and 25% of the total time allocated to CEAMARC to do them in. If the weather remains kind to us we should complete the schedule as planned. The only slight variation being the re-location of some sites to avoid dense pack-ice on longitude 140E directly north of the French research station at Dumont D'Urville. We have also re-aligned some sites, on the basis of very accurate bathymetry obtained using a multi-beam swath mapping depth sounder, to get better series of samples from shallow to deep. Yesterday's samples from 400m, 800m and 1100m were a very interesting contrast to those from a similar depth series reported in sitrep 321, which at 800m was dominated by a colourful garden of filter-feeding coralline species. Yesterday's 800m site had a very sparse covering of surface-living filter-feeders, such as sponges and bryozoans, but had very large numbers of Macrourus whitsoni or rat-tails, a common fish from these depths throughout the world. The sea-bed photographs indicated a lot of 'marine snow' (organic particulates) in the water and a piscean wall of mouths - fish waiting on the seabed for food to be washed past them by the currents. So although only 20 miles apart and sharing the common characteristics of very high productivity and biomass the benthic fauna at these sites were intriguingly different.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Sunday 13 January 2008 à 15:54

Position of Astrolabe at 11:29 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

66°54 S
142°27 E

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Sunday 13 January 2008 à 13:22

A touch of nostalgia.

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

I slept so much yesterday that I awoke, slightly ashamed, at 6h. I treat myself to a real breakfast.

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Sunday 13 January 2008 à 11:43

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
latitude: 65°15,769’ S
longitude: 141°17,882’ E
Wind:
direction: E
speed: 18 knots
Water temperature: -0,2 °C
Air temperature: 0,2 °C
Atmospheric pressure: 992 HPa
Relative humidity: 75 %
UV-B: 3,9 W/m²
Water depth: 241 meters
Sunset: 00h27/ sunrise: 3h00

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Saturday 12 January 2008 à 13:20

Seasick, still!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

I spent all day in my bunk. I am comatose when I’m not sleeping.

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Saturday 12 January 2008 à 11:36

Astrolabe in sight!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

We are now sailing in the Antarctic water off Adélie Land.

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Saturday 12 January 2008 à 11:28

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
latitude: 65°54,744’ S
longitude: 146°58,153’ E
Wind:
direction: N
speed: 3 knots
Water temperature: 0°C
Air temperature: 1.2°C
Atmospheric pressure: 985 hPa
Relative humidity: 68%
UV-B: 7.8 W/m²
Water depth: 375 meters
Sunset: 00h09/ sunrise: 02h55

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Friday 11 January 2008 à 18:21

So much water!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The Antarctic ice cap constitutes 90% of the world’s reserves of freshwater with 30 millions km3 of continental ice. This ice cap lays on the continental base and is made of ice coming from the accumulation of precipitations.

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Friday 11 January 2008 à 17:39

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
latitude: 62°52.370' S
longitude: 146°34.062’ E
Wind:
direction: S
speed: 23 knots
Water temperature: -1°C
Air temperature: -2.7°C and -21°C in the wind
Atmospheric pressure: 980 hPa
Relative humidity: 85%
UV-B: 4.5 W/m²
Water depth: 908 meters
Sunset: 00h02/ sunrise: 02h41

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Friday 11 January 2008 à 14:13

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 11/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 326
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 49.6S, 146 35E
HEADING: 174
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 5 kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 125.6 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast with low level cloud 7/8ths, moderate to good visibility, wind 20 kts from 165T gusting to 27 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -2.6
SEA TEMPERATURE: -1.1
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate to rough seas and moderate SSE swell 2 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Scattered bergs and some bergy bits.
REMARKS: Yesterday we continued to meet dense pack ice as we attempted to head south along the CASO CTD transect west of the Mertz Glacier. Rather than spend time pushing against the ice we decided to move to the middle of the three CASO transects, to sample along longitude 147E to the north of the Mertz. We completed 2 of the sites along this transect before again meeting dense pack ice and once more moved slightly west. We have now completed 3 sites along 146 35E. Satellite imagery indicates that the sites directly to the south of our current position should be clear. The CTD data indicates that we are again positioned over an outflow of bottom water generated by the Mertz Polynya as it pours off the continental shelf, in contrast to the Ross Sea bottom water detected further east. This is the first time it has been confirmed that Mertz bottom water streams over the shelf in more than one place. Over the past few days we have collected water samples from as deep as 4000 m. At this depth the pressure is about 400 times atmospheric pressure, to put this in perspective, if you opened a full diving cylinder at this depth the pressure would force water into the cylinder and fill about a quarter of it rather than allow the air out. Our plan is to complete this phase of CASO sampling by about 1800 this evening, then to steam to the polynya moorings to take advantage of a weather window to again move the Pole Compass, before re-starting the CEAMARC sea-bed sampling.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Friday 11 January 2008 à 13:19

Seasick!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

I am startled awake by Anne. One station to do. In turn, I wake David. It is 8h. We would have loved a little more sleep.

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Thursday 10 January 2008 à 16:06

Position of Astrolabe at 10:15 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

66°41 S
139°56 E

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Thursday 10 January 2008 à 13:55

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 10/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 325
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 23.6S, 149 29.6E
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 0 Kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 120.2 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast with low cloud, good visibility, wind 18 kts from 330T gusting to 23 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: 0.0
SEA TEMPERATURE: -1.6
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate seas and WNW swell 3 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Frequent ice-berg, ship sitting in open water close to edge of pack-ice.
REMARKS: We are continuing working southwards, sampling along the eastern transect of the CASO circuit. This morning we deviated slightly to the west to avoid dense pack-ice that accumulates to the north and east of the Mertz Glacier. To avoid speending time pushing through the sea ice we have re-located the sampling sites so that they follow the ice edge southwards towards the continental shelf break. On each of the CASO stations we have occupied so far we can see a distinct layer of cold, oxygen-rich bottom water near the sea-floor. There is, however, a clear contrast between the bottom water measured on the western and eastern CASO legs. In the west, we sampled the bottom water formed in the Mertz polynya area, which is fresher than the water above it and particularly rich in oxygen and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). In the east, the bottom water is lower in oxygen and is much saltier, indicating this water was formed in the Ross Sea and has travelled west through the deep channel south of the Balleny islands.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Thursday 10 January 2008 à 13:15

First operations on the Astrolabe!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

At the first breakfast on board, I gulp down a coffee and descend to the hold.

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Thursday 10 January 2008 à 11:08

A hole in the ozone layer

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Big areas of pack ice are surrounding the ship… For those of us present on the bridge this morning, this allows us to spot the first emperor penguins of the voyage!

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Thursday 10 January 2008 à 10:53

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
latitude: 62°24.520' S
longitude: 149°12.330’ E
Wind:
direction: N
speed: 10 knots
Water temperature: -1.6°C
Air temperature: 0.3°C
Atmospheric pressure: 982 hPa
Relative humidity: 85%
UV-B: 5.4 W/m²
Water depth: 3,000 meters
Sunset: 23h42/ sunrise: 02h39

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Wednesday 9 January 2008 à 17:17

Ready at last!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

Today the day is dedicated to odds and ends, accompanied by a healthy dose of grease: we are setting up the laboratories.

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Wednesday 9 January 2008 à 15:55

The oceans "skin"

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Jamie, the Third Officer, profits from the day full of sunshine to practice using the sextant.

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Wednesday 9 January 2008 à 15:44

Data for the Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 63°59.800' S
- longitude: 150°01.280’ E
Wind:
- direction: N-NW
- speed: 13 knots
Water temperature: 0.2°C
Air temperature: 1.6°C
Atmospheric pressure: 982 hPa
Relative humidity: 88%
UV-B: 7.2 W/m²
Water depth: 3,670 meters
Sunset: 23h11/ sunrise: 03h02

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Wednesday 9 January 2008 à 13:54

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 09/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 329
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -63 54S, 150 00E
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 0 Kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 149.8 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny with some low cloud, good visibility, wind 15 kts from 335T gusting to 18 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: 0.8
SEA TEMPERATURE: 0.2
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas and low confused swell 0.5 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Open water.
REMARKS: We have turned the corner on the main CASO sampling loop and are once again heading south. As I write we are at the fourteenth of the 31 CASO stations in this phase of the voyage and have completed the first two legs of the CASO stations over the Antarctic continental slope and rise. The first leg followed a deep canyon running from south to north that drains the bottom water produced in the Mertz polynya region. We found clear evidence that even now, in summer, dense water produced during the winter is spilling off the shelf and cascading down the canyon. The southwards leg that we are now doing, to the east of the Mertz polynya outflow, is a repeat of stations occupied during the BROKE expedition in 1996. Here we are sampling bottom water flowing west from the Ross Sea. In previous work, Steve Rintoull and others showed that the bottom water of the entire Australian - Antarctic Basin became lower in salinity between the early 1970s and 2001. By comparing the bottom water properties on the different legs of CASO, we will be able to determine, first, if the bottom waters are continuing to change, and second, the relative contribution of the Ross Sea and the Mertz polynya to changes in the deep branch of the global overturning circulation.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Tuesday 8 January 2008 à 17:16

Petty delays!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

The containers have not been loaded. Setup is postponed.

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Tuesday 8 January 2008 à 13:17

Under pressure!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The participants in the CEAMARC program have a few days off and are using the respite to edit their first reports. The Aurora Australis’s trawls are idle while the CASO (Climate of Antarctica and Southern Ocean) program’s operations are underway.

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Tuesday 8 January 2008 à 11:51

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 63°03.350' S
- longitude: 146°29.270’ E
Wind:
- direction: NW
- speed: 10 knots
Water temperature: -0.8°C
Air temperature: 4°C
Atmospheric pressure: 986 hPa
Relative humidity: 85%
UV-B: 4.9 W/m²
Water depth: 3,950 meters
Sunset: 23h11/ sunrise: 03h30

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Tuesday 8 January 2008 à 09:53

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 08/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 323
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -62 58S, 145 44E
HEADING: 101T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 13 Kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): 20 Nm
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 143.9 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Cloud clearing to leave some patchy, high cloud, good visibility, wind 5 kts from 320T
AIR TEMPERATURE: 1.0
SEA TEMPERATURE: 0.7
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas and low confused swell 0.5 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Open water.
REMARKS: CTD sampling of waters from the sea-surface to the seabed continues around the clock for the CASO (Climate of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean) part of V3. CASO is a major multinational project for the International Polar Year involving scientists from 18 nations and is led by Australia. CASO will provide the first circumpolar snapshot of the physical and biogeochemical state of the Southern Ocean as a benchmark for the assessment of past and future change. It will also demonstrate the feasibility of a sustained Southern Ocean observing system. CASO will continue on V6, during which a transect from Hobart to Antarctica will be sampled. On V3, CASO is focused on the region close to the Antarctic continental shelf and the fate of cold, dense 'Antarctic Bottom Water' from the Mertz Polynya. This region is one of the few places in the ocean where surface waters are made sufficiently dense to allow them to sink to the deep ocean. This transfer of water from the surface to the abyss is part of a global system of ocean currents known as the overturning or thermohaline circulation, which strongly influences Earth's climate. Our measurements on V3 are aimed at understanding how the Antarctic contribution to this global current system works and whether it is changing. We are presently re-occupying sites first measured on Aurora Australis in the 1994-5 season and are making excellent progress in unusually calm conditions. Last night we sampled the northern-most site, nearly 250 miles from the continent and are now heading east to sample some of the deepest sites which are about 4 kilometres from the surface to the seabed. Being this far north, we experienced our first, brief nightfall for the year last night.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Monday 7 January 2008 à 17:16

In search of lost materiel!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

Morning on the Lion with Thomas, near the ICOTA containers. We are waiting for Anne and Pierre who still have not shown up. Thomas goes for news while I finish arranging two or three things.

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Monday 7 January 2008 à 14:35

How beautiful it is "down under"!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The last trawls of the first part of the CEAMARC program were put in the water last weekend.The trawl that was towed at 800 meters came back up so full that the net tore just as it was about to be hauled up on the trawl deck.

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Monday 7 January 2008 à 14:18

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 63°48.380' S
- longitude: 143°21.415’ E
Wind:
- direction: S-SE
- speed: 10 knots
Water temperature: -0.8°C
Air temperature: -0.6°C
Atmospheric pressure: 982 hPa
Relative humidity: 85%
UV-B: 6.8 W/m²
Water depth: 4,200 meters
Sunset: 23h38/ sunrise: 03h26

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Monday 7 January 2008 à 13:51

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 07/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 322
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 56S, 143 21E
HEADING: 001T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 13 Kts
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): n/a
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 127.6 Nm
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly cloudy, good visibility, wind 12 kts from 180T
AIR TEMPERATURE: -0.3
SEA TEMPERATURE: 0.8
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas, low NE'ly swell 1m
ICE CONDITIONS: Open water.
REMARKS: We are now well into the main CASO (Climate of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean) leg of the voyage. We will spend 6.3 days (oceanographers can be very precise) using the CTD to sample the water column from 31 sites in a large loop that will take us about 150 Nm northwards from the shelf break and then east for a similar distance before heading south again to return to the shelf break. At our current location the water is about 3600 m deep and each CTD cast is taking about two and half hours. During this circuit we will sample three canyon systems discovered using multi-beam sea-bed imagery obtained by US and Italian survey vessels. These canyons are thought to drain the cold dense Antarctic bottom water formed in the Mertz Polynya.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Sunday 6 January 2008 à 17:48

Hump day with humpback whales

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

"Happy hump day!" is written today on the slate in the dining room. No one seems surprised, except for the non-English-speakers who are asking what message means.

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Sunday 6 January 2008 à 17:33

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 65°32.021' S
- longitude: 143°09.419’ E
Wind:
- direction: SE
- speed: 7 knots
Water temperature: -0.2°C
Air temperature: -0.8°C
Atmospheric pressure: 991 hPa
Relative humidity: 82%
UV-B: 4.1 W/m²
Water depth: 2,700 meters
Sunset: 00h24/ sunrise: 02h42

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Sunday 6 January 2008 à 17:11

Final preparations before the mission begins

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

First contact with Anne Goffart, our mission leader, over lunch at the base. We talk about materiel and logistics mainly. She sets up a rendezvous for us, David, Thomas and me, at 16h on the ship.

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Sunday 6 January 2008 à 13:50

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 06/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 321
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -65 39.6S, 143 02.4E
HEADING: Various
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 1.0
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): N/A
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 61.6
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Cloudy, good visibility, wind decreasing 8 kts from 125T
AIR TEMPERATURE: -0.5
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.2
SEA CONDITIONS: Slight seas, confused swell ICE CONDITIONS: Isolated bergs, occasional bergy bits, otherwise open water.
REMARKS: We all expected the Big Polychaete to be the undisputed highlight of the voyage, however, the Southern Ocean continues to turn-up surprises. Yesterday, while sampling the transect from 400m to 2100m down the shelf we blew out the trawl net as we tried to bring it on deck after sampling the 800m site. The video footage from the trawl-mounted camera explained why. Almost the entire day shift crammed into the STS electronics cupboard to see the footage and, after the first gasps of 'incroyable!', watched in hushed awe as a scene rivalling the best parts of the Great Barrier Reef was revealed. The sea-bed was 100% covered with living material - colourful branching coralline species and gorgonians forming the major lower storey structure and large branching sponges the upper storey. Amongst this were numerous sea-stars, sea-cucumbers, crustacea and fish of types at yet unseen. After repairing the trawl nets we returned to re-sample the site, this time being very cautious with the time allowed for the trawl to be on the bottom, and were rewarded with a relatively small catch but with many species not previously collected. In marked contrast the communities at 1600m and 2100m were rather sparse with much un-colonised rock and coarse sediment visible, but again the samples, although small, contained many species new to us. The deck crew must be congratulated for their skill and persistence in successfully sampling these very difficult environments, without which the scientists would have nothing. We have now commenced the main CASO sampling for the voyage.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Saturday 5 January 2008 à 18:08

Nostalgia!

Stéphanie Pavoine. Based in Dumont D’Urville station

Hello. I am Stéphanie Pavoine. I am a fisheries engineer by training and I have just spent a year over-wintering at the Dumont D’Urville station.

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Saturday 5 January 2008 à 16:05

Position of Astrolabe at 07:52 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

66° 00 S
140° 15 E.

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Saturday 5 January 2008 à 13:50

Algae on ice!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Today we’re sailing near a large tabular iceberg about twenty meters high.

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Saturday 5 January 2008 à 13:45

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 65°49.519' S
- longitude: 143°00.209’ E
Wind:
- direction: E-SE
- speed: 11 knots
Water temperature: -0.5°C
Air temperature: -0.8°C
Atmospheric pressure: 985 hPa
Relative humidity: 85%
UV-B: 1.8 W/m²
Water depth: 540 meters
Sunrise: above the horizon all day

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Saturday 5 January 2008 à 13:40

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 05/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 320
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 50S, 142 28E
HEADING: 340T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2.5
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): N/A
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 105.9
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clouds, moderate visibility, wind decreasing 14 kts from 125T with gusts to 16 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.5
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate seas from SE, moderate WNW swell 2-3 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Isolated bergs, occasional growlers and bergy bits, otherwise open water.
REMARKS: We completed sampling the main circuit of eastern CEAMARC benthic sites yesterday at about 2100 hrs last night and then returned to the Polynya moorings to move the Pole Compass. The Polyna moorings are measuring the speed and direction of water currents through the water column using Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP), but at this distance from the South Magnetic Pole (only about 135 miles WNW of the moorings) normal compasses are not accurate. The Pole Compass is designed to give accurate readings even when very close to the magnetic pole and will be positioned alongside each of the ADCP Polynya moorings for a few days in order to allow correction of the data from their simpler onboard compasses. The Pole Compass was redeployed by about 0500 this morning and then CEAMARC sampling resumed with the first of four sites (400m, 800m, 1600m and 2400m) in a transect over the edge of the shelf break.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Friday 4 January 2008 à 18:03

En route to Dumont d’Urville

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

A strong sea and high winds of as much as 50 knots last night (about 92 km/h) are making it difficult to cross to Dumont d'Urville in Adelie Land.

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Friday 4 January 2008 à 16:04

Position of Astrolabe at 06:33 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

61° 09 S
142° 03 E

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Friday 4 January 2008 à 13:11

Antarctic biodiversity inventory: for what?

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The return of good weather means we can enjoy a fabulous sunset on the horizon of Antarctic sea early this morning, around one o’clock. Once again, our star never left us. It stayed essentially at the same height for three hours.

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Friday 4 January 2008 à 13:01

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 66°19.089' S
- longitude: 143°37.275’ E
Wind:
- direction: SE
- speed: 30 knots
Water temperature: -0.6°C
Air temperature: -4°C and -25°C in the wind
Atmospheric pressure: 972 hPa
Relative humidity: 80%
UV-B: 4 W/m²
Water depth: 580 meters
Sunrise: above the horizon all day

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Friday 4 January 2008 à 13:00

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 04/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 319
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 19S, 143 59E
HEADING: 140T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2.5
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): N/A
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 94.6
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, low grey clouds, visibility good, wind 34 kts from 149T with gusts to 36 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -4
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.6
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate to rough seas and moderate SE'ly swell 2-3 m ICE
CONDITIONS: Isolated bergs, open water.
REMARKS: Yesterday's blue skies and calm seas were a great contrast to the stormy weather that began the New Year. We took advantage of the opportunity and completed 6 stations in the last 2 shift, with the night shift putting in a particularly strong effort to do nearly 4 complete stations. This afternoon the strong winds are returning as predicted and may force another halt to sampling in the next few hours. We are approaching the end of this stage of the CEAMARC sampling and when conditions allow we will return to the Polynya moorings to move the Pole Compass. The big isopods, amphipods and sea-spiders of the past few days were put firmly in their place last night by the arrival of the Big Polychaete. This magnificent bristle-worm (a polynoid or scale-worm) was about 9 inches (230 mm) long, 3.5 inches (90 mm) across, with scales more than 1 inch (24 mm) in diameter and weighed about 330 gm - at just three to the kilo this is by far the largest polychaete seen by any of the benthic ecologists on board. We have since captured video imagery of these monsters scurrying along the sea-bed as the trawl approaches. To top it off, the bristle-worms arrived complete with their own over-size parasitic nematodes (up to 4 inches long) infesting the space under the scales.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Thursday 3 January 2008 à 16:04

Position of Astrolabe at 06:37 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

56° 47 S
143° 39 E

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Thursday 3 January 2008 à 15:51

Feather stars among us!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The good weather is back!

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Thursday 3 January 2008 à 14:40

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 66°34.040' S
- longitude: 144°53.830’ E
Wind:
- direction: S
- speed: 17 knots
Water temperature: -0.7°C
Air temperature: -1.3°C
Atmospheric pressure: 985 hPa
Relative humidity: 70%
UV-B: 8 W/m²
Water depth: 490 meters
Sunrise: above the horizon all day

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Thursday 3 January 2008 à 14:10

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 03/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 318
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 34S, 144 41E
HEADING: 154T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2.5
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): N/A
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 97.3
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly fine and clear with some cloud, visibility good, wind 17 kts from 185T with gusts to 19 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.7
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate sea, southerly swell 2 m ICE
CONDITIONS: Isolated bergs, open water.
REMARKS: After riding out 40 to 50 knot winds for the first day and a half of the New Year, conditions had abated sufficiently by 1600 hrs yesterday to allow sampling to re-commence. However, the lull only lasted for about 6 hours before winds were again gusting to 50 knots and sampling halted. After a further 8 hour break, sampling re-commenced at about 0500 hrs this morning and the day shift woke to sunny conditions and light winds. Overall impressions of the sea-bed invertebrate communities are that the diversity and species composition on the Adelie Bank seems roughly equivalent to that known from at Dumont D'Urville at shallower depths (40-200m), but tends to decrease in Commonwealth Bay, possibly because of increased iceberg scouring. Two stations (38 & 36) show strikingly different benthic communities compared to surrounding stations, with many anemones, synascidians and serolid isopods. These stations are situated well beneath the action of icebergs at the bottom of the Georges V Basin where water conditions may play a role in shaping very different assemblages. The multi-beam data, previously collected in this area by the US research vessel the Nathaniel Palmer, provides a very detailed picture of the sea-bed including tracks of past ice-berg scouring. For those sites where it is available, it is proving invaluable for interpreting the relationship between the living communities and the physical environment of the sea-bed. A multi-beam capability must be considered as an essential element of a modern program of benthic biodiversity research.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Wednesday 2 January 2008 à 16:03

Position of Astrolabe at 04:25 UTC

Anne Goffart. Correspondent aboard the Astrolabe

52° 01 S
145° 05 E

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Wednesday 2 January 2008 à 14:18

Eelpout from every angle

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

The wind is blowing hard and keeping us from trawling. It is better to wait for it to stabilize at 35 knots or less to continuing collecting.

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Wednesday 2 January 2008 à 14:12

Data for the Aurora Australis at 12h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 66°55.540' S
- longitude: 144°24.466’ E
Wind:
- direction: S-SE
- speed: 40 knots
Water temperature: -0.7°C
Air temperature: -0.5°C
Atmospheric pressure: 961 hPa
Relative humidity: 89 %
UV-B: 3 W/m²
Water depth: 850 meters
Sunrise: above the horizon all day

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Wednesday 2 January 2008 à 13:48

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 02/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 317
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 53, 144 54
HEADING: 165T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 3
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): N/A
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 65
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, very low cloud, distant haze, occasional sleet, visibility poor, wind 30 kts from 145T with gusts to 40 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1
SEA TEMPERATURE: -1
SEA CONDITIONS: Moderate to rough seas, moderate swell 3-4 m
ICE CONDITIONS: Isolated bergs, open water.
REMARKS: Last night we continued to ride out the weather. The wind has now dropped slightly and we are heading back to site 59 to assess whether trawling is possible, if not we will attempt CTD sampling until conditions improve. So far, we have caught at least 38 fish species, including 32 Notothenioids, 2 or more Liparids and 4 Zoarcids. The number of species continues to increase every day. Interestingly, many species previously recorded to be common in the depth range 0 - 200 m along the Terre Adelie coast (Trematomus newnesi, Notothenia coriiceps, T. bernacchi, T. hansoni, Pagothenia borchgrevinki, Gymnodraco acuticeps) are rare or absent in our catches. The exceptions are two species, the icefish (Chionodraco hamatus) and the pelagic species, Pleuragramma antarcticum, which were previously found to be common in the shallow coastal areas and are also common at our sites. The latter dominates almost all catches in a range of sizes from small fingerlings to large size adults. Most species caught since the beginning of the voyage are not new to science, but previously had not been recorded in this sector of the Eastern Antarctic continental shelf. The catches are highly diverse but it is too early to say whether diversity is linked to seabed type or to particular types of benthic assemblage. We have collected many fingerlings and post-larval fish from the canyons, suggesting that these steep and rugged areas may play a role as nursery grounds for some species, particularly channichthyids. We have not yet caught any skate although they are known from the area off Dumont D'Urville and have been observed in our videos. They are probably escaping in front of the trawl.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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Tuesday 1 January 2008 à 13:55

Two New Year’s Eves are better than one!

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Monday, December 31, 22h : The day shift stops work, Martin has given us two hours off!!!

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Tuesday 1 January 2008 à 13:52

Data for the Aurora Australis at 16h30

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

Position of the icebreaker:
- latitude: 66°58.210' S
- longitude: 144°44.466’ E
Wind:
- direction: SE
- speed: 45 knots
Water temperature: -1.5°C
Air temperature: -1.7°C
Atmospheric pressure: 960 hPa
Relative humidity: 99.5 % It’s snowing!
UV-B: 1.1 W/m²
Water depth: 350 meters
Sunrise: above the horizon all day

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Tuesday 1 January 2008 à 13:51

Position of Aurora Australis

Sophie Mouge. Correspondent aboard the Aurora Australis

FROM: Martin Riddle
DATE: 01/01/08
REPORT (SITREP) NO.: 316
UNIVERSAL TIME: 0100
LOCAL (SHIP) TIME: 1200
AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME: 1200
POSITION: -66 51.0, 144 33.2
HEADING: 148T
CURRENT SPEED (KNOTS): 2.5
DISTANCE TO NEXT WAYPOINT (NAUTICAL MILES): N/A
DISTANCE COVERED LAST 24 HOURS (NAUTICAL MILES): 68.9
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, very low cloud, blowing snow and sleet, visibility poor, wind 40 kts from 155T with gusts to 50 kts
AIR TEMPERATURE: -1.8
SEA TEMPERATURE: -0.7
SEA CONDITIONS: 4-6 m SE sea, with heavy swell
ICE CONDITIONS: None visible.
REMARKS: We are currently hove to as we ride out the weather. New and interesting animals continue to appear in our trawl samples. So far we have collected about 10 species of the worm-like, shell-less molluscs, (Aplacophora) and yesterday we found a parasitic mollusc (family Eulimidae) on a sea-cucumber (holothurian). Some of the Aplacophora and the Eulimid may well be new records for Antarctica, although without reference to the scientific literature we are not yet able to make that claim with confidence. Among the highlights of the video captured by the trawl-mounted camera is the footage of a surprised-looking pelagic octopus sitting on the sea-bed in the split second before it was scooped up by the trawl. New Year on the ship is of course a special occasion and last night the day shift celebrated it on Tasmanian/ship's time with a masked ball. Now the night shift are celebrating the GMT New Year. The creativity of those on board came to the fore in the lead up to the New Year as many clever costumes were improvised from the limited materials at hand.
Regards, Martin and Sarah.

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