Disaster struck last week when our most important (and most advanced) sampler broke down. While enjoying nice temperatures on deck in the Swedish subtropical climate, the control unit of the 3-stage sampling pump just gave up. After several attempts to get it started again we had to accept that one part of the electronics had burnt out. Not an easy task to get this fixed in the middle of the Baltic Sea.
When we got hold of the company with whom we have designed the sampler on the satellite phone on board, it turns out that the only technician, Barje, who would be able to help us is in China installing another sampler. The only solution not jeopardizing the whole expedition is to call Barje back from China and put him on the first plane back to Denmark, give him a few hours to sleep, let him pick up the new electronics and try to get him to Sandhamn as soon as possible.
After a bunch of e-mails, text messages and telephone calls, it is clear that Barje will not be able to make it to Sandhamn in time. The Project Leader Anna Kärrman, who will be the Scientific Officer on the third leg, was waiting in Sandhamn, and together with the Captain we decided that the Sea Dragon will sail out of Sandhamn early Sunday morning not to loose too much time and get Barje on board in Gävle early Monday morning.
I am happy to say that I have just been in touch with the Sea Dragon and they are on their way to the next sampling point with a working sampler. They can continue our journey for a better environment.
Barje, the technician from KCDenmark, flown in from China to fix the faulty control unit together with the film team of Folke Rydén Productions (Joakim and Merte) on deck of the Sea Dragon.
– Bert van Bavel, Scientific Officer Simrishamn-Sandhamn, Baltic Sea Discovery expedition with MTM Research Centre, August 11, 2014
This post originally appeared on the Baltic Sea Expedition 2014 blog here

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