by Penny Holliday
At the National Oceanography Centre (noc.ac.uk) and SAMS (sams.ac.uk) scientists are busy packing boxes, checking software, finding their seagoing gear and buying sweets, all in preparation for the 2016 OSNAP fieldwork season.
In a couple of weeks time, the first 2016 OSNAP cruise (on RRS Discovery) will sail from the Clyde out into the open ocean, once again collecting data from the most fascinating part of the world’s ocean – the eastern subpolar North Atlantic. The Principal Scientist, Dr Stefan Gary, will be leading team DY052 into the Rockall Trough and Iceland Basin as part of a programme that has been observing the deep ocean for over 40 years (The Extended Ellett Line). When his work is done he will hand over the reins to Dr Stuart Cunningham for another 3-week cruise to the same area (DY053), and after that it will be my turn to lead the team of students and professionals into the Irminger Sea near Greenland (DY054).
This is an exciting time for experienced seagoers and first-timers alike, with great anticipation for our time at sea – the hard work, the fun, the scenery, the frustration of bad weather or instrument failures, and the satisfaction of a new and invaluable dataset.
We will be posting updates on our progress and maybe even some results, as we go through the summer, and we hope that you will join us by regularly reading our posts. You can follow us on twitter (@uk_osnap) and send us comments and questions too.
RRS Discovery off SAMS (in Oban, Scotland) in summer 2015