Things break, fall apart or sometimes just don’t work out the way we planned.
The NAAMES project has set a course for field study in the North Atlantic four times over the past few years. A place that is notorious for impressive storms and fluctuating degrees of unpredictability. The captain told me yesterday that this time of year can make it an, “especially special place,” with an emphasis on special. So far, the team has been incredibly lucky. Thanks to an impressive amount of planning, ingenuity and the ability for everyone to create and embrace a new path when the one they were on was no longer an option.
The airplane, that has been so crucial in helping us to gather measurements of the aerosols surrounding the vessel, has run into a mechanical issue that has taken it out of the mix.
Weather has now forced us off our course to Greenland and back south. The waves were expected to be thirty plus coupled with intense winds—so plan B.
So where does Plan C come in?
Well, today we learned that our CTD, the instrument we use to collect our deep-water samples, has an issue that can’t be fixed at sea. That means that part of this trip is over.
There was a moment of disappointment, a moment. But before I could even ask the question the room was full of chatter about how to make this work with the little less than two weeks we still have onboard. Nicholas Huynh, one of the scientists looked at me and said, “well, it is just part of field work.”
AND this is what I love about this journey and the people that are on it. There isn’t much time for self-pity or dwelling in what has gone wrong. The focus turns immediately to what we can do to make the best of what we have in front of us. This is why I decided to take a month out of my life to capture and share this story. The first time was about the adventure, this time it is about the people and the human spirit of curiosity and the positive nature that is contagious on this ship.
Nick Huynh and Ben Knowles absorbing the news that the CTD will no longer be able to be used on NAAMES 4.