February 26th, 2003: Leg 1, Day #8
are turning into el Canal de San Lorenzo between the mainland (and La Paz)
and la Isla Espiritu Santo (Holy Ghost). An hour or more of maneuvering,
and we will be ready to take our pilot on board. He will guide us into
port. Our experienced crew probably does not need him, but they want to
play it safe the first time. The captain is busy filling out the necessary
paperwork. When we come in and out through airports all of that is taken
care of by individuals. Here
the captain has to take care of us plus his ship. It is a relatively small
port so we do not expect many problems. The rest of the crew is washing
down the ship, not sure it is because they want her to look pretty or that
is just what they do every time they get into port. Probably a little bit
of both. A fair bit of talk now on where to go while in port. There are
many choices down here, La Paz, Todos Santos, Cabo, San Jose, etc.
scientific party is in full packing mode. In fact most of it is done and
some are ready to swim to the beach. Years of experience have taught us to
break down what took several days to put together in a few hours. Funny
how that happens. One of our more experienced members noted that the
equipment does not have to work when we pack it, making our job a lot
easier. Data has been backed up on CDs, laptop computers that will travel
home with us, and computers that will stay on the ship, just in case.
While our data has no monetary value at this point, a considerable amount
of money and time was spent collecting it. We go overboard to make sure
that one copy makes it home safely.
Our last few stations in the Gulf have puzzled us a bit. We came across warm and salty water that is characteristic of the Gulf. This water was not present in any of our Pacific-side stations making us think that open ocean surface circulation tends to “ignore” the Gulf. One of our Mexican collaborators may come to MBARI after the cruises are over to analyze the data collected during the cruise together with historical data. We will then learn more about this wonderful place and how things that happen so very far from Monterey Bay affect that part of the world.
is now time for this Chief Scientist to say goodbye and to welcome the one
coming aboard for the next leg. It is now Tiburon’s show. Happy
samples incubating in the sun
The crew on the bridge as the Flyer approaches La Paz.