Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Hawaii Cruise
March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
Logbook

March 13, 2001: Leg 1; Day 1


Log Entry: Wow, I know it's not really March 13th as I type this. It is Monday afternoon and the excitement and stress levels are rising. The Western Flyer is taking on fuel and is really loaded down. The harbor is relatively shallow due to the sediments that wash into the harbor from land and we have to move the Flyer to the outer dock in order to completely fuel her bunkers (see image). Everybody is moving fast trying to complete their cruise preparations - we leave on the high tide a few minutes after midnight. I'll be sending updates daily (hopefully) that will get posted so that you can keep up with what we are doing.

- George Matsumoto

It's 0130 and we are well underway. We slipped out of Moss Landing Harbor departing the dock at 0030 hours right on schedule. We cleared the sand bar at the mouth of the breakwater by about 1 meter and are steaming towards our first station where we will do a CTD cast (lowering a rosette of water samplers and instruments into the water column to measure several different parameters of the water). This station will be at our mooring site M1 and we will then move to M2 where we will start the morning with a bluewater SCUBA dive followed by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dive and then another CTD cast. Later on today we will have our fire and boat drill. The weather is beautifully calm. There is hardly any swell, the moon is at about ¾ full and I'm heading for bed.

- George Matsumoto

It's 1400 and we are wrapping up the ROV dive with our last set of transects. We are running 15 minute transects every 100 meters from 100 meters to 1000 meters and sampling the water column with a net mounted in front of the vehicle (I'll try and send a photo tomorrow) that ends in one of a series of 12 sampling containers under the vehicle. This means that we can get a discrete sample from each depth. We are using SCUBA divers to sample the very shallow waters with 10 minute transects at 20 meters, 15 meters, and 5 meters. Kevin, Rob, Steve, and I all went diving today saw some of the largest specimens of Leucothea pulchra that I've ever seen. We also collected some other animals (salps, jellies, and snails), but the visibility was only about 10 meters.

We are crossing back and forth over an oceanic front where the water temperature and salinity are fluctuating by as much as 3 degrees Celsius and 3 parts per thousand salinity. Once we recover the ROV (in about an hour) we will start moving toward our next station and get ready for our fire and boat drill at 1600 hours. Francisco, Tim, Atma, Ginger, and Steve are getting some well deserved sleep after being up for most of the night (between 0200 and 0800) sampling the water column. They will start again tonight and keep going throughout the night into the early morning hours. Hope that you are enjoying the updates and come back for more tomorrow.

- George Matsumoto

Here is a six day composite image (this is a thumbnail, so just click on the image below to see a larger view) of the cholorophyll levels in the Equatorial Pacific. S2001065-2001070.L2_GAC.chlor_a.jpg (642966 bytes)


The key for the colors can be found here:

 



Here is the plankton net that collects samples during our midwater transects. The net empties into one of 12 collection samplers.

Kevin Raskoff (standing) and George Matsumoto (sitting) are suited up and ready to go diving, but take a few minutes to send an update to you using a satellite uplink.


George Matsumoto standing beside a CTD rosette to give you an idea of the size of this instrument which is lowered down to 1000 meters to take water samples and measure salinity, temperature, and density of the water.

Here is a view of the moonpool (in the middle of the ship) during ROV operations. The ROV Tiburon is launched and recovered through this opening.


Captain Ian Young (in the background) and Second Mate Brian Ackerman on the bridge of the Western Flyer during ROV operations.

 

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