Today’s ROV dive at Guide Seamount, which is a little over 100 kilometers (63 miles) due west of Davenport, California, was quite exciting and much different than the dives conducted at Axial Seamount.
The weather is predicted to deteriorate over the next couple of days. We decided it was best not to do our last scheduled dive at Axial Seamount today. Instead, we headed south last night to get ahead of the weather.
After a long steam from Newport, Oregon, we arrived to Axial Seamount about midday. Although we only had time for a short ROV dive, it was a very important dive for some of the long-standing work we have been doing here.
We began steaming for port as soon as the dive on August 2nd was completed and the ROV was on deck. The wind has kicked up again so our transit will be slow and would take too long to have allowed us to get a dive at another vent field today.
After a terribly long and miserable transit the weather calmed a bit and what was to be a quick test dive became an exciting reprieve from boredom, seasickness, and an otherwise helpless feeling that we’d never get any science done.
We are crossing the Escanaba Trough of the Gorda Ridge right now, five kilometers south of NESCA (Northern Escanaba Trough), where we were to have our first dive target of this expedition but the weather continues to be awful.
Research programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) encompass the entire ocean, from the surface waters to the deep seafloor, and from the coastal zone to the open sea. The need to understand the ocean in all its complexity and variability drives MBARI's research and development efforts.