We’re in full on science mode now. We have finished sampling at 3 of out 11 stations. Some of these stations take only a few hours to collect water while others are scheduled to last 26 hours. Whenever we get to the station we start sampling. I was up until 4:30 am and then back up at 8:30 for station 4. The transit to station 5 should take about 7 hours – enough time to finish up, take a shower, eat dinner and take a nap. I’ll be waking up at 10 to sample at station 5 and when we’re done with that, it’s only a 2 hour transit to station 6 which is scheduled to be the 26 hour station.  Now, that doesn’t mean we each need to be up for all the sampling, but we do need to be around when our science gets done.

We’ve been working efficiently and are ahead of schedule a bit, which feels good because you never know when something could go wrong and set you back. I spent most of the day trouble-shooting the RNA sampler, which worked well once and then started misbehaving. I think we’ve finally got it working again though, so I’m looking forward to trying it out at the big station tomorrow.

Sampling last night was especially fun because the light from the ship attracted a huge school of flying fish, some small squid, and a decent sized shark, all visible in the water right next to the hull. There was also some bioluminescence flickering on the breaking waves.  That kind of made up for the lack of sleep!