woensdag 3 juli 2013

Gathering the animals... What a job!

It have been busy days since Bas, Ruben and Martine left Spitsbergen, despite the tears and hugs the show had to go on…well fieldwork in this case. For the last few days it meant collecting organisms for Ariadna’s exposure experiment.
The animals were taken from the Kongsfjord, with the good old workboat “Teisten”. The entire area was sampled to find the perfect spot where the animals needed could be found.
An amount of 100 organisms per species had to be collected, rating to a total of 400 crawling creatures! The animals where sampled from the bottom of the Kongsfjord with help op the Van Veen Grab at depths of 20 to 60 metres! The grab is able to collect a small amount of sediment each time so it had to be lifted up and down a lot of times during the day.
Ariadna sorting out a sample on the Teisten. cold hands, cuts and
rain,but she keeps on going... © Ben Frederiks

Monday was a day with horrible weather, strong gusts and a lot of showers, a lovely day to stay inside but no…we brave few went out on the boat. The sampling went well, but there was no abundance of animals to be found, meaning that we would have to work a bit harder the upcoming days. To make the hardship complete: We almost forgot dinner! Ariadna insisted to work a bit longer to finish the preparations for the next day, still keeping the weekend dinner-schedule in mind we walked back towards the service-building with great hunger to find out that the working days-schedule is a bit earlier compared to the weekend…something never to forget! (don’t worry, we still got dinner that evening).

On Tuesday Ariadna and I were joined by Thijs and Sander, the filmcrew from the Dutch scientific television program Labyrinth. These guys where here to film the work we are conducting in Ny-Alesund, it was great to have them on-board, pitty that the weather started with a fog so dense that the captain of the boat had to slow down due to the low visibility. Later on the clouds disappeared and a beautiful scenery appeared.

Later that evening a Polarbear was spotted on Storholmen island at the other side of the fjord, in no-time the whole village was looking at the enormous animal with binoculars and telescopes. It was foraging on the islands bird nests and took a nap after dinner. Unfortunately my camera did not have the range to make a proper photo of it, but it was a big one!

True, it's not a polarbear but this iceberg with Kittiwakes is
also worth a look. © Ben Frederiks
Wednesday was a great day, started sampling early in the morning, it was a calm and sunny day, we could feel the warm sun! And with this last day of sampling the results of our hard work are as followed: enough shellfish have been gathered, The Macoma and Astarte are ready to put in test! On the contrary worms are a bit harder to find Nephtys and Pectinaria are not abundant and it is questionable if these are put in test.
All with all these were pretty good days, hopefully the materials arrive tomorrow so I (Ben) can start up my tests concerning Ballast-water management systems too. It will be another exiting week!

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