Bringing it all home

Sea-going oceanographers, like those aboard the R/V Sikuliaq today, have a cautionary principle that they always keep in the back of their minds.  When an expensive piece of scientific equipment, the vital infrastructure that makes up most of the budget for an ocean research team, goes over the side of a ship and into the sea you can’t expect for … Read More

When things go wrong

Making scientific observations at sea is by definition difficult and unpredictable and this is especially true north of the Arctic circle. In a place like the Beaufort Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, the cold and extreme remoteness combine with the typical ocean challenges of corrosive salt-water, driving wind, and the stress and strain of violent motion to … Read More

Anchoring an Arctic story down deep

For most of us in our daily lives we think of our world in three dimensions.  We need to get up out of bed, across the floor, and through the door to the kitchen to make the coffee.  But when it comes to observing the physical nature of planet earth what is happening at a given location in three-dimensional space … Read More

Sailing to the edge of Arctic change

A light fog hangs low on the horizon.  The wind is gone.  We are getting close. The heaving waves of the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea have been left behind for now as the raging westerlies give way to somewhat calmer easterlies north of the Arctic Circle and the atmosphere’s polar front.  Just east of Barrow, Alaska we reach the … Read More

The end of the road

A bit over 100 nautical miles north of Nome is the natural harbour of Port Clarence, a final sanctuary from Alaskan gales before the Bering Strait and quite literally the end of the road.  The ArcticMix team was waiting for the final two members to arrive by air into Nome where they were then to head overland via challenging 73 … Read More

There’s no place like Nome

The “combi” 737-400, a passenger aircraft modified to take cargo in place of half the seating capacity, circled for a second time.  Cloud hung low over Nome, Alaska and a westerly gale was building as the airliner finally touched down on the runway.  We had to get to the ship quickly.   The R/V Sikuliaq, sea-going home to the ArcticMix … Read More