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February 25th, 2003: Leg 1, Day #7

We are getting close to the tip of Baja. Our last major station will be at 7:00 pm local time on the 25th, 0200 Greenwich meridian time (GMT) on the 26th. We use GMT on the ship because it never changes, while yesterday we changed from Pacific to Mountain time. We have just crossed the Tropic of Cancer, so we are now officially in the tropics. Temperatures continue to get warmer and shorts are being worn by almost everyone. There is a buzz in the air. No one talks about it much, but everyone is thinking about reaching La Paz. We will dock at a place called Pichilingue.

Feb25_TSplot.jpg (60758 bytes)We feel quite happy about the results of our cruise although it will take a return trip and then several months or maybe years of analysis to put it all together. I for one have learnt a great deal about this part of the world over the last several days. One of the tools we use in our studies is a temperature-salinity or TS plot in oceanographic jargon. When we plot our data in this space different water masses show up. The subarctic water is cool and fresh, tropical surface water is warm and fresh, Pacific deep water is the coldest, equatorial subsurface water is warm and salty, and subtropical surface water is warmer and saltier. Can you find these water masses in the plot? And determine which CTD drop was made where? 

Feb25_nightcast.jpg (41863 bytes)I have gained great admiration for the Mexican scientists who have laid a great foundation before us. They have done their work with tools that are less modern and comfortable than ours but still have some outstanding descriptions for the region. The same can be said about the early oceanographers. In 1942 a man named Sverdrup published a book called The Oceans. Many of us still go to it when we come across someplace that we do not know about. Sixty years later we have difficulty improving upon these early publications. 

Feb25_everyday.jpg (35945 bytes)One of the wonderful things about going to sea is that it gives you time to think—to think about those things that we do not have time to normally because of our busy schedules. And tomorrow that time will be gone as we dock at Pichilingue. 

Francisco

 

Feb25_gingeranalysis.jpg (48203 bytes)Feb25_iansteven.jpg (42320 bytes)

Right image: Captain Ian Young  and Second Officer Steven Sandstrom-Phillips on the bridge.                                                                                                                                        

Left image: Guess what analysis Ginger is doing!

     Feb25_dolphins1.jpg (26795 bytes)Feb25_dolphins2.jpg (39027 bytes)Feb25_dolphins3.jpg (24919 bytes)

Bottle-nosed dolphins on the bow.

Feb25_crewmeet.jpg (40393 bytes)

 

The crew at their daily afternoon meeting.

 

 

Feb25_relax.jpg (43357 bytes)

 

 

A moment of relaxation on the fantail.

 

 

Feb25_dailylog.jpg (55367 bytes)

 

 

Francisco writes the daily update while Gernot peeks in.

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