21 March 2004

Sunday, 21 March 2004

Today we began the big task of preparing the iron fertilizer solution in two large tanks. The first half of the tanks are filled with seawater, then acid, and iron sulfate. Over one tonne of iron sulphate is being sieved and loaded into the tanks from a hopper, then the tanks topped up with seawater. Large pumps mix the solution around to dissolve the iron sulfate.

At the same time a start was made on preparing the tracer tanks.

Obviously a complex voyage like this requires a lot of coordination. Today we had the first on board general cruise meeting addressed by voyage leader Mike Harvey.

We also began the oceanographic survey today in the afternoon. This will determine the best site to carry out the experiment. The survey will comprise a southward--heading track on 173°E, with a CTD cast to 800m every 15 nautical miles interleaved with XBTs.

Work was briefly interrupted when a pod of whales was spotted several hundred meters away. All through the day we are accompanied by the majestic albatross who swoop low over the waves.

Murray Smith, NIWA
Brian Ward, WHOI

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Filling one of the tanks with iron sulfate using a hopper.

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View of the tanks under preparation from the aft of the ship.

The CTD and water sampling bottles emerging from its descent to 800m depth.

Research subject: Oceans