March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
March 15, 2001: Leg 1; Day 3
George writes: We are at 35 degrees 37.19' N 124 degrees 33.01' W at a CTD station late on March 14th. The winds are holding steady at 27 knots and the swells are still substantial. We are still hoping for calmer weather in the morning so that we can dive. I'll send another update later in the day.
March 15th 0700 hours:
Another bumpy night. We are now at 35 degrees 27.18'N and 124 degrees 54.16W and holding station 300 kms from Moss Landing (~170 miles) while we evaluate the sea state. The winds got up to 32 knots last night and are now holding steady at 29 knots. This morning at 0200, we ran a CTD station to 3000 meters; there is still a lot of plankton at the surface as Atma has to filter the bongo net samples at each station.
35 11.78N; 125 34.79W
1200 hours and we are moving across the Pacific. Bruce Robison and Dale Graves evaluated the moonpool situation and decided that it was too rough to launch the ROV this morning. The next CTD station is not for another 24 hours so we will continue our way towards Hawaii and if the weather calms down, we may stop for a ROV dive. Right now the wind is holding steady at 26 knots, the swell is calming down. We are going to stop right now and open up the moonpool again to evaluate launching conditions.
We are on station diving with the ROV!! The sun has come out and the winds are slowly decreasing (holding around 20 knots now) and the swells are down as well. We have just completed 15 minute transects at 100 m, 200 m, and 300 m and are on our way down to 400 m. There are huge amounts of what we call 'spiders' out here, they are really isopods (related to your pillbug or sowbug or rollypolly) that are well adapted to midwater life. Tonight we will celebrate Francisco Chavez and his wife (Aurora)'s 21st wedding anniversary (shhhh - he doesn't know it yet).