March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
March 21, 2001: Leg 1; Day 9
Log Entry: Today will be a busy day with a CTD station scheduled for 0630 this morning and a ROV dive following at 0830 hours. After the ROV is launched, the bluewater divers will get suited up and head out for another dive. During these dives, we are running transects at 20 meters, 10 meters, and 5 meters (10 minutes on each transect).
On our last bluewater dive (March 19th) Kim Reisenbichler collected a beautiful snail called Cavolinia. Cavolina is a protrandric hermaphrodite (first a male and then a female). These snails can build a feeding web in 2 minutes and then ingest the web (and food), they are known to eat bivalve veligers, diatoms, and foraminiferans.
0800 PST; 0700 WFT
We are stopped and doing a CTD cast right now (the CTD rosette is down to 900 meters). The water temperature is up to 19.5 C with a salinity around 35 PSU. The sun is coming out, the wind is only about 6 knots, and the swells are 1-2 meters. By my estimation, we are about 1450 nautical miles from Moss Landing with about 1150 nautical miles to go until we dock in Hawaii.
After the CTD station is completed, we'll move a few miles and then launch the ROV and the divers. The reason for moving is that objects in the ocean that are floating around tend to attract fish, and while the divers don't mind seeing small fish they don't want to encounter any large pelagic fish (like sharks!).
1315 WFT; 1415 PST
We are almost to 900 meters with the ROV and just starting our 900 meter transect. After we finish the 1000 meter transect we are going to take the vehicle down to 2000 meters and see what's here. We are seeing a lot of fish today, more so than usual. The bluewater dive went very well. It was gorgeous. Calm with almost no wind, there was a pretty good swell, but once we got into the water, it was just Shawn Osborn in the Spare RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) that had to deal with the swell. Visibility was about 40 meters so we could see the RIB way above us during the whole dive.
The CTDs are providing some very interesting information. We sent the salinity figure earlier, here are temperature, salinity, and fluorometry readings thus far. We are going to undergo another time change tonight so Western Flyer Time (WFT) will be two hours behind Pacific Standard Time (PST). As with the last time change, the hour be taken over three watches so that each watch has 20 minutes added to it. Tomorrow is a steaming day although we will likely stop for a CTD station sometime during the day.