March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
March 19, 2001: Leg 1; Day 7
Over the past two days and nights Paul Chua has been hard at work processing over 100 seawater samples in the fluorometer. He has processed 10 casts so far and he takes 8-12 samples from each cast.
Log Entry: 0615 (ship time; 0715 PST)
30 24.57N, 137 34.82 W
It's a beautiful morning. The winds got up to 22 knots last night and the swells are quite a bit larger as we slide under the low pressure front that is moving towards Monterey. Right now the winds are back down to 13 knots as we prepare for a CTD station. We are about 1150 nautical miles from Moss Landing and about 1300 nautical miles from Hawaii - almost halfway there! We are running slightly ahead of schedule and our fuel consumption is less than expected which is great. The swells are 4-8 feet and the boat is rocking a bit. Tim Pennington and Atma Roberts are up and ready to go as soon as we stop and Steve Fitzwater pulls in the towfish. Preliminary iron measurements from the towfish indicatesome of the lowest iron readings that they have ever measured.
Here we go! I'm heading back to take some photos that I'll send on the next satellite uplink.
The water temperature is increasing steadily and the air is starting to feel more humid. We are in fog much of the time and are keeping the lab doors closed now to maximize the efficiency of the air conditioning system.
We are going to be launching the CTD rosette at 0600 hours today for a cast down to 1000 meters. After the CTD cast, the optical profiler will be launched and will help the Biological Oceanography Group (BOG) see if they can determine more than chlorophylls from the satellite color images.
The optical profiler is equipped with an hyperspectral radiometer which measures downwelling irradiance and upwelling radiance, a CTD, two AC9's which measure absorption and beam attenuation over nine wavelengths (1 uses filtered seawater while the other uses raw seawater), it also measures backscatter at six wavelengths and fluorescence at two wavelengths.
At all of the scheduled CTD stations, bongo nets are also deployed. The samples from these collections are preserved and stored for later analysis. The bluewater divers are also measuring and collecting plankton as is the ROV. By the end of the cruise, we will have an unique data set covering the entire transect from Monterey to Hawaii.
The CTD is on its way down to 1000 meters. The BOG group will then launch the optical profiler to 50 meters and then do a shallow bongo net tow. After they are done, we will launch the ROV and then we'll do a bluewater dive. I'll try and post some images of some of the neat things that we've been observing and collecting on our dives.
Our current location almost halfway to Hawaii!!
Buck Reynolds and Paul Chua lower the CTD into the water as Darrell Palmer supervises
Bringing in and launching the towfish requires some effort as we are not using the winch cable (which is being used by the CTD). Chief ROV Pilot Dale Graves, Shawn Osborn, and Steve Fitzwater bringing in the towfish as the Western Flyer gets onto station. Paul Chua is in the background getting ready for the CTD launch.
Shawn Osborn is on the winch controls as the CTD goes down into the water. Note the sunshade which hasn't been used much in the fogbank that we've been in for the past two days. It looks like a nice day today though.
0925 PST; 0825 WFT
We have completed the CTD cast, optical profiler, and bongo net deployment. The ROV crew is working on the vehicle swapping out a thruster while the bluewater team stands waiting for the OK from the bridge before diving. The winds are kicking up (up to about 15 knots now) as are the swells and there is an impressive squall line just to the south of us. We will wait to see how the conditions develop before making a decision about scuba diving.
Here is an image of the towfish that is in the water all the time that we are underway. It brings in water through the front of the towfish that is then analyzed in the lab by Steve Fitzwater and Ginger Elrod.
Dale Graves on top of the vehicle with Paul Tucker, Buck Reynolds, and Peter Zerr assisting as they swap out a thruster.
While the ROV crew works on the thruster, Tim McLaughlin sits ready at the controls of the tether management system.
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