Last hurrah on land!

The science team for Leg 2 arrived to their first Sikuliaq breakfast in style, opting for an Alaska-specific uniform.

You’ve got to stay warm out there..

For the last day at port there was a lot to get done on the R/V Sikuliaq. The crew was busy preparing the Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS), including strapping them onto the deck. The current forecast calls for 9 foot swells in the target area, but shrinking to 3-4’ by the time we arrive. Here’s hoping that our seasickness will be manageable!

During a gap in meetings, most of the science crew headed to the Seward SeaLife Center ( just outside the University Alaska Fairbanks dock . The SeaLife Center is a local marine biology facility devoted to science & research, wildlife response, and education. Aside from taking selfies, the crew of scientists learnt about rehabilitation efforts for local puffins, seals, and even octopi.

Other members headed out for a stroll around town. Seward is actually the mural capital of Alaska! If you’re ever in town, you can take yourself on a guided tour –

A mural showing the retreating Exit Glacier.

Before the day was done the science team learned about the ship specifics (3 flush rule, guys) and had a detailed technical training on the OBS instrument packages. Here we see chief scientist Anne Sheehan inspecting the data acquisition bubble. These instruments are designed to operate under miles of ocean water without cracking. Our OBS engineer, Alan Gardner, talked about the need for an instrument set that is buoyant enough to be recovered, but heavy enough to stay on the seafloor until that time. Double and triple checking by our talented engineering team means greater success in 15 months when the AACSE Leg 3 starts collecting instruments in summer 2019.

Alan Gardner, our OBS expert, showing Chief Scientists Anne Sheehan and Doug Wiens the ropes.

With everyone tucked into bed under the midnight sun (err.. clouds), the R/V Sikuliaq is ready for action at 0800! Until next time…

Sleepy Sikuliaq.


-Tiegan Hobbs


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