Pretty in Pink

CATEGORIES: Field Blog/News, News

On Tuesday morning we began sorting through some of the material collected from Sandenbai on Monday. We have noticed the Arctica from Sandenbai at Ingøya are a very nice pink color compared to other populations. Just another thing that makes them so special! One avenue for future work is to collaborate with a DNA specialist. Comparing DNA among populations in different locations can help for understanding how they are connected and how they expand their range, among other things.

Pink Arctica (and other species).
Pink Arctica (and other species).

For the better part of the day, the land crew worked on getting good cores from the isolation basin. After a bit of a snafu having to hike back to camp to retrieve the core tubes, they were met with success! One of the cores, especially, showed some interesting stratigraphy. The team now has a core from the east, central, and west part of the pond that should make for a nice pilot project. At the end of their work, they dragged the Baby Fun filled with coring equipment back to the shore for later pickup – not an easy task!

Pretty in Pink

(Picture to come). Some interesting stratigraphy on the new sediment core.

The boat crew traded Claire out for Sam and headed for Mafjorden to explore a few new areas. We discovered many new sandy patches containing Arctica, but didn’t focus on collecting a large number of clams. Michael just about jumped out of his seat when a new species showed up in the clam haul; his personal favorite, Serripes groenlandicus. This is a species that can easily be found on Svalbard but not commonly occurring this far south. Pair that with the northernmost extent of Arctica islandica and add it to the list of wonderfully special things about Ingøya. Since we were on the small boat, we didn’t have the advantage of Thorleif’s winch, so the dredge had to be pulled in by hand. Michael was sore from yesterday and Maddie, well Maddie had no good excuses, but Sam obliged in doing most of the hard work along with Thorleif. This was another situation where the GoPro footage really came in handy. After reeling in the first haul and reviewing the video through a tablet connected via wifi to the GoPro, Thorleif knew to add more line to the dredge to lower its angle at the sea bottom. This helped get the dredge to dig in to the sediment much better.


No sea cucumbers were harmed in the making of this photo.


Sam taking a much needed break.

It is worth noting that Al had a good joke today told using his best pirate voice. “Garrrr, why don’t ya go and walk 1 fathom along a 2 meter plank. What’dya say to that?” — “I’d say I’d stay pretty dry, captain!” We finished a lovely evening by a visit from Tommy, Thorleif, and Erlend who invited us for an afternoon at the lighthouse on Thursday. Tomorrow, the boat crew will attempt to snorkel the bay again, this time with Tommy and some better equipment.