By Kelly Strzepek

I would just like to say that when Delphine and I unpacked on the first day our cabin was tidy, military style tidy. Day three and I can’t find anywhere to sit down. I blame the Equipment Operations Manager. He let it slip that we would have a surprise muster sometime yesterday, which means you need to grab your life jacket and survival bag and head for the muster station which is up on the heli-deck. Because we have been sampling frequently we thought we should be ready and so the cabin now has red bags life jackets and warm jackets strewn everywhere. At this rate by the time we are called I won’t be able to find anything and will go through the safety drill wrapped up in my doona.

I was permitted out on the trawl deck today so that I could take some footage of the net going out. Today actually feels like we are heading south. Yesterday it was so balmy that we were hanging around on the deck with t-shirts and sunglasses, more like the Mediterranean than the Southern Ocean. The roaring forties purred, with the occasional meow and the furious fifties have to this point in time been more like the flaccid fifties. The swell is less than 2 metres and last night I felt as if I was been rocked to sleep like a baby. Today we are still on a mill pond but the temperature has dropped significantly so at least I have the opportunity to wear the intrepid cardy.

In other news, the comments from the ABC blog have come back and we, ‘the scientists’, have been told to go back and study seeing that we couldn’t identify the pyrosomes that came up in the net yesterday. But it is like asking someone who studies mice to identify a species of elephant! It is beyond our area of expertise I’m afraid. On the positive, we were able to distinguish foraminifera from other pieces of floating marine snow and microscopic organisms with the naked “trained” eye. Considering they are only 150 micron in size, surely we regain a little of our scientific integrity, don’t you think?