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The Traps Return

Yesterday Pat Kelly’s sediment traps finally went into the water. Kelly, an oceanographer from the University of Rhode Island, had been waiting the whole cruise for a chance to put his traps out – they need open water, with no ice around, and they need 24 hours to “soak.” Once, a week or so ago, we even took a detour to the south to look for a place for Kelly to put his traps, but no luck.

The traps were clipped onto a 125-meter long rope with a 135-pound weight at the end, and they were spaced out so they sat at 25, 40, 50, 60, and 100 meters below the surface, waiting for “marine snow” to fall in. Kelly is taking samples to learn about the stuff that falls through the water, mostly poop and dead stuff.

Today was the day to get the traps back. The original plan was to pick up the traps with a small boat launched from the Healy, but then the wind picked up to 25 knots and the crew decided it wasn’t safe to put small boats in the water.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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