Last summer, I was oceanographic (CTD) sampling in Cumberland Sound by 23 July. This year work was scheduled to start 18 July. As I’m over 6 months pregnant, an undergraduate student was hired to do the field work in my place. He helped me in a lab class last fall, so I know he’s a good, reliable worker. This trip is his first field work of this kind (other scientists will be there to help him out). No matter how things work out, it’s a good opportunity for him to see a part of the world that not many people get to see.
It turns out that Cumberland Sound is almost completely covered in ice. For comparison, this time last year all we saw were a few icebergs. At the moment, the ship can’t even get into the sound – so the ship is going somewhere else to do some mapping until conditions change.
It’s amazing how different conditions are just a year later, I’ll have to look for some satellite photos to compare. I’ve prioritized my sampling plan, so hopefully the most important stations still get sampled. All I can do now is wait and see. Unfortunately, my student is stuck sitting in Pangnirtung with the other scientists waiting…
At this point no-one knows when sampling will begin.