March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
March 16, 2001: Leg 1; Day 4
Log Entry:0735 hours
Today we are traveling toward our next dive site (D4) which we are scheduled to arrive at around midnight.
We are cruising along at about 9 knots with the winds holding steady at 21 knots. The seas are much calmer today than they have been for the past few days. The crew are up and working but many of the science party didn't make it to breakfast this morning as there are no immediate science tasks at hand. Francisco is going to try and run an extra CTD station today as we are currently scheduled to arrive at our next planned station at midnight and this is a little early. At this station we hope to run a CTD station, go blue-water SCUBA diving, and complete a 6 hour ROV dive before moving on. We prefer to run the diving operations during the day and the CTD station will only take two hours, so we are about 5-6 hours ahead of schedule.
We crossed the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) last night which is set at 200 miles (320 km) offshore. We are still in the California Current though, the water temperature at the surface is still only 12.2C and the salinity is 32.8 parts per thousand. We are running the towfish behind the boat as we cruise Ginger and Steve are busy watching and maintaining the instruments. The iron and aluminum measurements are still low.
We are going to be stopping to let Francisco run a CTD station here. It is amazing that we are so far out and still within the California Current. The swells have calmed down enough that most of the science crew are getting some work done now. The latest NCAA results were forwarded to Francisco from his son - Thanks Cisco!
We've just finished up a CTD station here and are continuing on our way towards Hawaii with only ~1700 nautical miles to go! We are crossing a timeline tonight so we'll be setting our clocks back one hour. We have two more of these changes to go before we hit Hawaii. It's great to have an extra hour of sleep no matter where we are! The crew are taking the time change over a period of three watches (20 minutes extra per watch) so that one group doesn't have an extra hour added onto their watch. Perfect timing. The winds are still pretty high (~20 knots) but the sky is blue and there is a beautiful albatross that has been following us for the past two days.