Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) Cruise
January 5 - February 26, 2002

January 9, 2002: Day 5
Latitude: 51 00S, Longitude: 173 18W

Transect at 170W showing the water temperature from the surface to 1000 meters.

Ken Johnson writes: Well, the weather has finally caught up to us.Wind is gusting to 48 knots and sustained speeds are about 30 knots.The ship is riding nicely through a fair size sea.I fear that if the wind keeps up, though, the seas will build.For now were still maintaining 11 knots.All of the 757,000 liters of fuel that we took on in Lyttelton are putting us nice and low in the water, the fuel weighs about one and a half times the total weight of MBARIs ship WESTERN FLYER.

Cherry pie for dessert tonight - Yeah!But watch all those jelly beans.The snacks on board are killer.You wouldnt believe how many cases of animal crackers, jelly beans and ice cream bars we carried on board when the ship took on stores in Lyttelton, who buys this stuff?Message to Bob Knox, UNOLS needs a nutritionist.

Weve just about got the gear ready to start fertilizing.We filled one 37,850 liters (10,000 gallons) tank today with seawater, it already had 2,600 kilograms (7,000 lbs) of iron sulfate in it that we loaded in Moss Landing.We turn south at 172W, looking for the SubAntarctic Front. Its a sharp boundary of temperature, chemistry and biology that separates the warm mid latitude waters from the cold subAntarctic waters.The graph shows a vertical section of temperature measured in January 1996 along the same line that we will sail down.The SAF starts at about 54S, where the water temperature is about 10C and ends near 56S where the temperature has fallen to 6C.We want to stay north of the front because it has strong currents that will destroy our iron patch.

One problem is that were at 51S now and the water temperature is over 15C.In 1996, the 15C water didnt penetrate south of 45.Hmmm, what to do?Well head on south tonight, making the turn along 172W at around midnight.It will be a long night, but Im really curious to see what we find to the south.Better be some colder water down there, pretty soon, or the north patch will be jammed up against the front.

Well, Im off to discuss this with the others.

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