Once again the chemist has done it. Been outside in the field!
Before I left on my summer vacation I asked Kristofer (Kris), our field assistant, if it was possible for me to join a LMO (Linnaeus Microbial Observatory)-sampling. It was! I was flying back to my office with the info about what week and possible day for sampling and that I had to wear a survival suit. I repressed the things he told me about weather dependency when going by boat 15 km eastward from the east coast of Öland. The weather would be fine, naturally…
Then, Monday week 34 came and Kris let us know that the sampling on Tuesday was cancelled due to the windy weather. Ohhh, nooo!!! I had forgotten about the wind! Of course it is the wind deciding if you can travel by boat. I was really disappointed.
But lucky me, Tuesday came and Kris told me the good news. “Tomorrow we are leaving for sampling, Pernilla”. I got so happy! I set the alarm for 4 o´clock, was at work 05.15 and leaved 05.30 for Kårehamn with Kris and Anders, our technician.
Dressed in survival suits we left the harbour, with the Eon boat, and reached our sampling point about 20 min later. The voyage was a little rough due to rolling waves but exciting none the less. During the journey I was thinking of all sea-sick suggestions I got the night before: keep your eyes on the horizon, eat dry biscuits and eat apples…
On the deck Kris showed me how to sample phytoplankton. I managed to land some before I started to feel a little bit strange… Anders asked me if I was all right and I answered “YES” the first time “mmm” the second time and the last time I did not answer at all. My biggest worry was where to do IT. Over the rail, or somewhere else…? After a small incident – over the rail – I started to chew the travel sickness chewing gum I got from Anders.
Thanks at lot, my heroes – Anders for the chewing gum and Kris for emptying the bag net so I could keep my eyes at the horizon.
This was a big adventure for a chemist like me!