January 14-18: SR03 and King Neptune

Post from VIMS graduate student Mar Arroyo.

14 – 18  Jan 2017
65° 20’ S, 139° 49’ E
SR03 and King Neptune

The final bits of gray skies and sea ice before heading toward open, blue water.
The final bits of gray skies and sea ice before heading toward open, blue water.

CTD stations in the Ninnis Polynya are finished! Now, we’ve steamed north to begin the final stretch of marine science: CTD stations along the WOCE line SR03. Steaming north means that we will be leaving the sea ice for good.

The typical cruise track for WOCE SR03. This track is the transect in 2008. On this current cruise, we only completed the 11 southernmost stations.
The typical cruise track for WOCE SR03. This track is the transect in 2008. On this current cruise, we only completed the 11 southernmost stations.

The SR03 transect is a part of the WOCE and CLIVAR programs as a repeat section expanding north to south along 140°E, between Australia and Antarctica. The transect is reoccupied every few years to ensure data is current. The major objectives of this program are to measure changes in water mass properties throughout the full ocean water column between the two landmasses.

Marine science for V2 is now complete! After the busy work of CTDs, we had a surprise visit from the King of the Deep, Australis Rex, as the Aurora traveled throughout the Southern Ocean, south of latitude 60°S. King Neptune, his wife, and his court of dignitaries formally welcomed all “first-timers” into the Southern Ocean in a messy ceremony involving a dead fish, a bucket full of slop, and salty blue juice.

And with that, I’m now an official South Polar Sea Dog! Next stop: land.

4

– Mar