For once I don’t actually have anything mind blowing to report. There are no illuminated skies, or jade icebergs, or charismatic megafauna.

I’ve stopped waxing lyrical about the Aurora now that I have the Doc’s photos and can just show people instead. I am calm, and so is the sea. And yet, I’m still not in the slightest bit bored. Perhaps I should give all this up and work on a factory line, I appear to enjoy monotony. OR another way to look at it is that I should be an oceanographer, because I love being at sea and I am equally as fascinated with all the projects on board as if they were my own research.

Tim’s team continue to pump water up from the deep chlorophyll maximum, or DCM (remember from high school biology, chlorophyll is the pigment present in green plants, and cyanobacteria, that is responsible for absorbing light to provide energy for photosynthesis). From this section of the water column they hope to gain insight into the previously unidentified deep(ish) microbial community. Personally I think they should be pumping water from closer the bottom, but at 4000m it’s logistically unfeasible on this trip, and nobody asked me anyway. Perhaps next time. As part of the Carbon group I am still sampling 2-3 times a day from the CTD elbow to elbow with the physical oceanographers. Where we care about dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity and pH, for the physical oceanographers it is all about dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity and nutrients. You can understand why it gets so crowded in there. That’s a lot of bottles to fill.

In other news my abstracts have been accepted for the Deep-Sea Coral conference in Amsterdam this April. I’m to give on oral presentation and one poster presentation. I was very excited about the prospect of giving a talk, until it was granted and then my first instinct was to run around with my hands in the air shouting ‘but I don’t know what I’m talking about’.

Luckily I have had to put together a presentation for the ships expeditioners, who are not all scientists, and I found myself explaining what it is that I am doing to the doctor in a coherent and informed manner.

Maybe I am learning a thing or two after all. And on that note, I should do some work…