Things never go right all the time on an expedition.

It started with heavy snow on Saturday morning. Visibility dwindled and the wind built snowdrifts on the upper decks. Then Dr. Chris Measures’s trace-metal CTD rosette (see Jan. 26 post) stopped collecting water. And, as you read yesterday, glider RU26 came home early with what Dr. Josh Kohut called “an attitude problem.”

The ocean is a harsh environment—cold, wet, salty, corrosive, deep, and forceful. When oceanographers put equipment over the side of a ship, they try to remind themselves that the ocean has no obligation to give it back. They carry spare parts, and they try not to get too attached. “If you put stuff in the ocean long enough, sooner or later something will go wrong with it,” Dr. Measures said. “It costs so much per dip, that’s the only way to look at it.”

Fortunately, as long as things don’t go badly wrong, the ship’s crew and scientists are good at finding creative ways to fix problems with just the limited materials they have on board. Read on through the slideshow to see how our day went:

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About Hugh Powell

Hugh is a staff writer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is on special assignment with the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. He has previously written for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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