So today was Science Day and we collected our first microbiome sample for Indigo Expeditions (see http://www.indigovexpeditions.org/meet-the-explorers-ambtman-family/ for some more background on them and what citizen scientists like us are doing to support them). Indigo Expeditions focuses on developing a greater understanding of marine microbiomes or plankton that make up 90% of the ocean’s biomass and are critical in maintaining the levels of atmospheric oxygen. These microbes are also the first to respond to changes in the ocean environment and are thus a valuable indicator of our ocean’s health.
It costs them 1000USD to process each sample so we needed to work carefully. It took some time to sort through all of the syringes and pipettes, understand the strict sampling instructions and figure out how the refractometer worked to test the salinity in the water. The monkies loved it! They donned their surgical gloves (the sample must NOT get contaminated) and got to work filling syringes, flushing filter cartridges and mixing solutions until we ended it with a clean filter containing one carefully labelled sample that is now sitting in our freezer.
Our 24h distance was lowish due to lower winds and all of the fiddling that we needed to do to get the sails working and to collect our samples. The wind has now picked up again and is expected to stay for the coming 48h so hopefully we can make some more good progress.
Day 10: Atlantic Crossing
Date: December 17, 2017
Time 12:00 UTC
Position 9’12.948N / 46’53.992W
COG/SOG: 253 degrees / 5.5-6kn
Trip distance: 1427nm
Distance to go: 529nm
24h distance: 133nm
Cabin temp: 29.5C
Sea temp: 23C
Conditions: sunny few clouds, wind NE 12-16kn, sea slight-moderate Sails: Full main and genoa (port) wing-wing
Live position tracker at: https://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=02nKvBqvxOgtWvAPCDkUEUqyTcWFsO96a