Day 10

We cross the shelf break towards the open Arctic Ocean. Weather is not good now, with 2-3m swell and persistent winds from the Northeast. The sea is metallic grey, reflecting a continuous layer of dark clouds covering the sky. As we pull the Movile Vessel Profiler seawards, moving continuously up and down through the water column recording images of the zooplankton and environmental data,  I realise it is a good time to order the samples obtained with the Multinet. This special net has been designed so their 5 mouths can be opened and closed consecutively at different, a priori selected depths. Thus, we will be able to know how many planktonic organisms of different species are located at each particular depth. As I order them in the cardboard boxes, a clear pattern emerges: samples from the coastal stations are full of reddish copepods. Moreover, surface samples present a much more intense reddish color compared to those from deeper layers. This is a clear indication of a surface coastal copepod swarm.

I have also time to go through the photos of some weird animals catched by our pelagic trawl. Deployed at depths around 200 m, we have been catching some krill, jellyfishes and some strange bioluminiscent deep water fish, the myctophids, with big eyes and mouths. With the help of Prof Stig Falk-Petersen and the internship student Guillaume Schuler, we have measured them before freezing them for later analyses once back at the lab in Tromso. But before that there is still much to get from the deep waters in the next 3 days, so we will keep on trawling!

Nicholas Weidberg
Biological oceanographer