Day 9: Fast winds make for a slow day


July 7, 2011; 13:59 UTC
July 7, 2011; 20:59 PDT

47 45.825960 N, 127 46.077120 W

The wind’s been around 26 knots since last night, so this morning’s Jason dive was postponed until the head of the Jason team decides its calm enough to deploy. We are expecting to launch tomorrow morning, however the chief scientist, Andy Fisher, has instructed everyone participating in the upcoming dive to prepare their gear and have it on the Jason platform by dinner in case the wind calms earlier than expected. We’ll be returning to a site that we postponed work on in agreement with another research vessel thats entered the area. Its the Thomas G. Thompson, operating the ROPOS ROV. You can get some details about our position from, under research vessels, although their position hasn’t been updated in several days at the time I’m writing this.

Today, I woke up and went up to the top deck to look at the sea for a few minutes before breakfast. Honestly, the sea can become boring on a boat. Its easy to take it for granted, as hard as that may seem. If you stop going to look at it, the ship begins to feel like a building on a pier that you don’t leave for three weeks. Plus, you don’t see many whales in the lab.

After breakfast, I watched the second half of an episode of Firefly that was interrupted when my watch began for ROV duty. Then, I spent a few minutes reading an overview of the current state of our field, followed by 20 minutes on the exercise bike. By the time I got out of the shower it was lunch. After lunch I was going to help transfer water samples, but since the Jason launch was still on hold, my colleagues decided to do some other chores and get around to transferring the water samples after dinner.

Its 2 now (9 in Greenwich). I’m going to post this brief update, then drift around a bit and see what everyone is doing. This is a surprisingly effective way to learn about what oceanographic research is going on these days or get introduced to unfamiliar techniques. After dinner, I’ll get around to the lab work and then make sure that everything is primed for tomorrow’s ROV deployment.

Another grad student just came by to ask if I wanted any water samples. Because there isn’t going on much, some people are going to put the CTD in the water. If ocean science were pediatric medicine, a CTD would be a stethoscope. Its a thermometer and salinity detector with bottles that can be triggered to capture water at selected depths. Altogether, it lets you get a snapshot of the temperature, chemistry, and a few dozen other things if you’re interested enough to do the tests on the water samples it brings up. I told her I’m good, but I might go watch that for a few minutes to see what they’re up to.


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