R/V Polar Duke Farewell Tribute
in the Laboratory for Microbial Oceanography

The Final USAP Voyage

SITREP, observations & e-mails from R/V Polar Duke:

The R/V Polar Duke left Punta Arenas on 14 May 1997 bound for Port Fuchon, Louisiana. This cruise will bring an end to the historic 13-year research support mission for this fine vessel. We will follow the crew and the vessel on their northward journey across the equator to the Gulf of Mexico. Periodic situation reports (SITREP) from the Marine Project's Coordinator Al Hickey will be posted along with other relevant information.

SHIP: Polar Duke LACS4
DATE OF ARRIVAL: 6 June 1997
PORT OF ARRIVAL: Port Fuchon, Louisiana

Brandal, SigvaldMasterDoyle, DavidASA
Jansen, Tor OleCh. Eng.Furnish, MarkASA
Kristiansen, JohnCh. MateHickey, AlanASA
Sandvik, Roger1st Off.Holder, SonyaNSF
Lockert, Frank1st Eng.Huller, MeredithNSF
Nergaarad, OysteinCh. Stew.Jeffrey, WadeNSF
Langfors, AndersElectricianMather, ColeASA
Viddal, JosteinABMikesell, DaveASA
Saeth, HenryAB (Bosun)Osborn, GaryASA
Johnston, EduardoABPakulski, DeanNSF
Martinich, SantiagoRitter, ErikASA
Gallardo, VelgquenABShort, StevenNSF
Javier, MarioWilliams, BrianASA
Varas, ValleCook
Guillermo, Angel

Subject: P.DUKE SITREP - 14 May 1997
Author: Alan Hickey
Date: 5/14/97 9:28 PM

The R/V Polar Duke departed Punta Arenas, Chile today at 1115 LT, one day ahead of schedule. Numerous well-wishers were on the dock to bid farewell to a ship that may have graced their city for the last time. Vessels at anchor sounded their whistles as we headed west through the Straits. Weather this day has been sunny and calm as we begin a 24 hour transit to the Pacific Ocean. The S-200 group aboard (W. Jeffrey, P.I.) has most of their instrumentaiton staged for sampling which may begin as early as Friday morning when we are 200 n.miles off the Chilean coast. In-port activities were numerous in order to support the final logistic and science cruise aboard the Duke. Several ASA office staff were on hand for the port call to provide valuable assistance.

The Polar Duke would like to publically acknowledge the many years of support provided by AGUNSA. Their unwavering and "can do" attitude, combined with friendship that exceeds the norm in a shipping business is greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your farewell dinner served with typical Chilean hospitality.

Scenery through the narrow western passes is nothing short of spectacular as we sail within a mile of the coastline.


Al Hickey
Polar Duke

SUBJECT: SITREP and observations from R/V Polar Duke

GMT DATE:16/17 MAY 1997
GMT TIME: 1600 0000 0400 1200
SHIP'S POSITION: 300 miles west of Archipelago de los Chonos, Chile
3272 n.miles to Balboa, Panama
AIR PRESSURE (MB):1004100610031002
WIND SPEED (KN):17-274-611-1611-16
FUEL ON BOARD (@0800)433 M3

REMARKS: The Polar Duke continues north, enjoying a wind shift that has brought following winds and seas, a pleasant respite for all. Today's science station took only 30 minutes to retrieve the necessary sea water for S-200 incubations and filtrations.

In the words of Chief Scientist, Dr. Wade Jeffrey, the final voyage of the R/V Polar Duke under its NSF contract provides a unique opportunity to study the sensitivity of marine microorganisms to ultraviolet radiation along a latitudinal gradient. UVB irradiance at noon in our hometown of Pensacola, FL (approximately 30'N) is almost 10 times greater than noon UVB in Punta Arenas, Chile (53'S) at this time of year. The basic question we are asking is whether microorganisms living in low light environments are more sensitive to UV than those living in high light latitudes. In other words, have they adapted to high UV environments? We are collecting surface water samples each day to determine relative sensitivity of marine phytoplankton, bacteria, and viruses to increasing levels of UV as we move north.

Today also marks Norwegian Constitution Day, first written in 1814.


Al Hickey
R/V Polar Duke

SUBJECT: SITREP and observations from R/V Polar Duke

GMT DATE:17/18 MAY 1997
GMT TIME: 1600 0000 0400 1200
SHIP'S POSITION: 460 miles WNW of Puerto Montt, Chile
TEMPERATURE (C):7.27.879.7
AIR PRESSURE (MB):1002101110141018
WIND SPEED (KN):11-2117-2117-217-10
SEA STATE (M):0.5-2.51.2-2.51.2-2.50.5-1.2
FUEL ON BOARD (@0800)422 M3

REMARKS: The first Ctd of the cruise was performed this morning, simultaneously with the daily surface water pumping. Ctd depth was 500 meters with water samples taken at depths of interest. All activities were completed within an hour, allowing the ship to continue north making good speed. Wind and seas abating.

Average speed past 24 hours:  	11.9 knots
Distance to Balboa, Panama:	3071 nautical miles
Air temp:			9.6 C
Sea surface temp:		13.8 C

Vessel is about to leave the latitudes of prevailing westerlies and into the region of variable winds.


Al Hickey
R/V Polar Duke

SUBJECT: SITREP and observations from R/V Polar Duke

GMT DATE:18/19 MAY 1997
GMT TIME: 1600 0000 0400 1200
SHIP'S POSITION: 530 miles WxN of Talcahuano, Chile
TEMPERATURE (C):1010.71214.1
AIR PRESSURE (MB):1017101810181022
WIND SPEED (KN):11-1611-1617-2711-21
FUEL ON BOARD (@0800)411 M3

REMARKS: All is well as the Polar Duke continues north in the South Pacific Ocean. Temperatures continue to rise, allowing more outside work on the vessel without bundles of clothing.

Average speed past 24 hours:  		12.19 knots
Distance covered past 24 hours:	  	292.65 nautical miles
Distance to Balboa, Panama:		2770.0 nautical miles
Air temp:				14.1 C
Sea surface temp:			17.72 C

Al Hickey
R/V Polar Duke

SUBJECT: Polar Duke update
AUTHOR: Jon Alberts, Science Cruise Coordinator, Antarctic Support Associates
DATE/TIME: 5/23/97, 2:23 pm


Al Hickey, MPC, on the northbound Polar Duke asked that I act as a point of contact since email is still down on the ship. They have re-built the server on the ship but Al thinks it may be software problems now. He feels that email will probably not be working again this cruise.

As of 23 May at 1700 GMT their position is Lat. 17-16 South, Long. 85-17 West. ETA at Balboa, Panama is 0600 local on 29 May. Vessel has "preliminary clearance" to transit canal 30 May. Estimate ETA Fourchon 5 June. Average speed is 11.7-12.0 kts.

Science is proceeding well and weather is favorable in the SE trades.

At this point the only way to contact vessel is via INMARSAT. Although they are in the Pacific Ocean, they are using Atlantic satellite. Phone number is: 011-874-131-2305. Fax number is: 011-874-131-2351. They are one hour ahead of Denver, i.e. they are on central time.

Al Hickey will call in to my direct line (303-705-0728) at ASA over the weekend. If need be, leave messages for the ship on my voice mail and I will relay them to the ship.

Please forward this message to anyone I may have missed.


Jon Alberts

SUBJECT: SITREP and observations from R/V Polar Duke

GMT DATE:25/26 MAY 1997
GMT TIME: 1600 0000 0400 1200
SHIP'S POSITION: 300 n.miles west of Guayaquil, Ecuador; 295 n.miles SE of the Galapagos Islands
TEMPERATURE (C):26.225.424.627.0
AIR PRESSURE (MB):1018102010181020
WIND SPEED (KN):11-161-37-104-6
FUEL ON BOARD (@0800)332 M3

REMARKS: The Duke computer network was restored Saturday evening after four days of tireless effort by ET's Brian Williams and Erik Ritter. Their work aboard is certainly appreciated!!

Since Wednesday, air and seawater temperatures have continued to climb as we approach the equator. We should be crossing the equator around 0100 tomorrow. As we enter the region of doldrums, the air and seas remain calm while the sun spends more time than not out of the clouds. Despite a few fits entailing repairs, the ship's air conditioner provides significant indoor relief.

Today the Duke received a revision in our time to transit the Panama Canal. Our ETA to the anchorage in Balboa, Panama is 0800 LT on 29 May, with permission granted to transit at 1800 that evening. During the day of the 29th, Canal authorities will review all ship's paperwork, hazardous waste retrograde, and details outlining our transit will be finalized. Rieber will also have a crew turnover. Transit time should be 6-8 hours, putting us in Cristobal, Panama at 0200 the 30th. From that point we estimate a 5-day steam to Port Fouchon, Louisiana. This could put our arrival into Port Fouchon early morning on the 4th of June. All the above is "tentative" and will be confirmed in due course, but should be noted for planning purposes.

Sampling for S-200 is going very well, with 2 Ctd's being performed every other day and surface water sampling daily. We are still awaiting written confirmation to sample in Gatun Lake. Two stations will be performed in the Gulf of Mexico but none in the Caribbean in order to comply with the 200 nautical mile limit around foreign countries. Dr. Jeffrey has the distinction of being the first to conduct tropical research on the Polar Duke.

Average speed past 24 hours:  		12.09 knots
Distance covered past 24 hours:		290 nautical miles
Distance to Balboa, Panama:		764 nautical miles
Air temp:				27.0 C
Sea surface temp:			26.7 C
The Polar Duke is observing Central Time.


Al Hickey
R/V Polar Duke

SUBJECT: SITREP and observations from R/V Polar Duke

GMT DATE:26/27 MAY 1997
GMT TIME: 1600 0000 0400 1200
SHIP'S POSITION: 285 n.miles west of Pt. Cascajal, Columbia
TEMPERATURE (C):27252530.2
AIR PRESSURE (MB):1020101710161019

REMARKS: It's a warm one on the Duke but no one is complaining. We crossed the equator this morning at 0026 at 84-30.7W longitude. An initiation ceremony for the 16 lowly Pollywogs will be conducted this afternoon to welcome them into the higher order of Shellbacks. King Neptune has granted us a smooth passage.

A science station was occupied this morning and will be the last in the Pacific Ocean. As required by Panama Canal regulations, inspections and ship systems testing have been completed 48 and 72 hours before transit.

Average speed past 24 hours:  		12.74 knots
Distance covered past 24 hours:		305.8 nautical miles
Distance to Balboa, Panama:		466.4 nautical miles
Air temp:				30.2 C
Sea surface temp:			26.6 C

Al Hickey
R/V Polar Duke

SUBJECT: SITREP and observations from R/V Polar Duke

GMT DATE:28/29 MAY 1997
GMT TIME: 1600 0000 0400 1200
SHIP'S POSITION: At anchor - Balboa, Panama
TEMPERATURE (C):26.627.426.5
AIR PRESSURE (MB):101510161015
WIND SPEED (KN):4-114-74-7

REMARKS: The Polar Duke anchored at Balboa, Panama today at 0810 LT. Canal authorities boarded the vessel and cleared all paperwork within an hour. Permission to conduct a water sampling station in Gatun Lake this evening was confirmed. We are scheduled to begin transit of the Canal at 1715 LT which should have us reaching the other side, Cristobal, just after midnight. A Rieber crew change took place at noon and they were given a hearty farewell. Preparations are now focusing on our arrival at Port Fouchon the morning of June 4th. Any changes in this ETA will be forwarded.

PANAMA CANAL FACTS: The Panama Canal is 90 miles long and typical transit time is 6-8 hours. Approximately 60 vessels transit the canal each day, 30 each way on average. Last week a tub sank in one of the locks creating a significant backup of ship traffic. The Canal will be turned over to the Panamanian government on December 21, 1999.

View from the vessel includes the modern skyline of Panama City, the small port city of Balboa, the Bridge of Americas spanning the southern canal opening and 22 other large vessels of various vintages at anchor.


Al Hickey
R/V Polar Duke

Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 17:44:39 +0000 (GMT)
From: Alan Hickey (hickeyal@duke.polar.org)
To: "mo-sciweekly@asa.org" (mo-sciweekly@asa.org)
Subject: POLAR DUKE S-200 CRUISE summary

Members of S-200 joined the Polar Duke for its final voyage under the USAP contract as it left Punta Arenas, Chile on May 13. Our objectives were to investigate whether there is latitudinal variability in UV sensitivitity in marine microbes (Viruses, bacteria, microeukaryotes). In addition, several experiments investigated whether exposure to UV resulted in shifts in microbial community structure. Samples were collected at 12 stations along the Pacific coast of South America essentially along a northbound track at 85 degrees W. In addition, one sample was collected from Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal as well as one sample in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Parameters measured at each location were microbial biomass and productivity as well as nutrients and microbial community structure. Incubation experiments also looked at the impact of ambient solar radiation on primary and heterotrophic production and bacterial community structure. In a final set of experiments, seawater samples from each location were exposed to fixed equivalent amounts of UVB and inhibition of bacterial production determined.

Indications suggest that sampling has been successful and preliminary data looks encouraging. Final data analysis should be completed in approximately six months.

The trip has provided other unique opportunities for participants. Many of us shed our pollywog title for that of shellback after crossing the equator on May 27, 1997. A crossing party ceremony organized by ASA and ship's crew members was enjoyed by all. We are one of the few groups to conduct tropical research aboard the Polar Duke. By collecting a sample in Gatun Lake in the middle of the Panama Canal, we may be the first to conduct limnology research aboard the Duke.

We once again thank ASA for its support of our project. Our participation on this cruise was spur of the moment and last minute. Once approved, ASA took the "can do" attitude and made sure all of our needs were met. Thanks to Bob Kluckhohn for making things happen back in Denver. This is our third cruise aboard the Duke and we have been fortunate enough to have Al Hickey serve as MPC for each. He once again has proven his ability to make things happen aboard the ship (and he makes a great capaccino). Cole Mather also served on all of our cruises as marine tech. His help in construction and sample deployments and collection has been invaluable. Without samples we wouldn't have any data. On this cruise we were also fortunate to have a second marine tech aboard and we thank Gary Osborne for his help in taking samples this cruise. A special thanks go to the two electronics techs, Brian Williams and Erik Ritter for answering and solving numerous small questions, but especially for working non stop for 4 days to rebuild a server so that email could be restored to the ship. I hereby request that any and all of these men be aboard for any future cruises I might have through the Office of Polar Programs.

On behalf of all of the Polar Duke "Party Managers" who have come before me, I wish to extend a deep and sincere thanks to the Captains and crews of the Polar Duke. Their hard work, dedication, professionalism, and pride in their work has allowed many of the scientific contributions made aboard the Polar Duke to happen. History suggests that the Norwegians are among the finest sailors in the world. Those of us who have sailed aboard the Polar Duke will not dispute that claim. We will miss the Polar Duke.

Wade Jeffrey
Principal Investigator, S-200
Last of the Polar Duke Party Managers

Final Polar Duke SITREP -- 8 June 1997

Since arriving in Port Fouchon on June 4th, the ASA crew aboard has been moving massive amounts of cargo off the vessel onto trucks that are storing this material for the Gould in Galliano. This process will be completed by Monday evening in anticipation of major yard work to begin on Tuesday at this location.

Dave McWilliams of ASA Marine Operations was on hand this weekend to host a crawfish dinner aboard the vessel and to present on behalf of NSF and ASA to Captain Karl Sanden of the Polar Duke, a ship's clinometer.

This was a very fitting farewell for a ship that has accumulated endless accolades over the past 13 years. We wish her crew the very best of luck in future years and a mission as appropriate as her years of sevice in the U.S. Antarctic Program. On behalf of the Polar Duke crew, we thank all those who have contributed to her success.

Fair winds,

Al Hickey
Polar Duke

Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 08:03 GMT
To: ARVOC, Al Sutherland
From: Dave McWilliams

Just a quick note for everyone while en route to the NBP shipyard.

We had a BBQ on the Polar Duke as a farewell tribute to the crew and Rieber Shipping as the contractor to the U.S. Antarctic Program on Saturday, 7 June. A crawfish feed in the old cajun tradition was held on the Polar Duke foredeck. With the cooperation of the weather and the bugs, we had a very enjoyable get-together. It was a fitting end to a 13-year contact with this group of peple that had gone beyond employer/employee and had become good friends. ASA presented a shipyard clinometer to the Polar Duke with a thanks for the 13 years of service to the program. During the presentation, I noted several red eyes, including my own, as the last farewells were said. It was a heart-felt thanks and acceptance. I believe all that have sailed with and held a respect for the crew and ship would have been quite pleased with the ceremony. I, for one, felt honored to have been able to represent the USAP and recognizing all the good science that has been done through this vessel and crew's efforts.

Best regards,

Captain David A. McWilliams