Science at sea is always full of improvisations. This is even more true here, in Svalbard, where the nearest shop is several hundreds of kilometres and several days of sailing away. So we have to make do with what we have brought with us, or what is already at the station. The Directional Acoustic Buoy (DAB) that Grant built is using two hydrophones to track sounds underwater and see where they come from. We have decided to use three hydrophones, and my trusty B&K-8103 is seeing the sea for the first time (it is usually safely in the acoustics lab at Bath). To add it, we used a yellow coat-hanger (note to myself: remember to put it back in the cupboard before leaving the station). And plenty of Duck Tape. We checked the calibrations, and it all works fine, even if it is not the most elegant.
Duck Tape is in great favour with marine scientists: I have used it, and seen it used, in most other field trips before, from deep-sea expeditions near hydrothermal vents to the previous Arctic trip. We also use it in the lab.
Zip-Lock bags are another great favourite: they keep dry everything going remotely near the water, or just staying in the open for a while. Our stereo cameras are wrapped with such bags, and all top-side connections for our computers and equipment going on the boat are in Zip-Locks too.
But there are other ways to reuse old material … We need an anchor to weigh our autonomous recorder when the weather improves, and the best way will be to use old tracks from the amphibious vehicle. A bit rusted, but the right dimensions, and definitely the right weight. Small problem: the pins are totally rusted, and need to be sawn out … The things we have to do as experimental scientists …