Expedition Log

02.18.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 11

Wrapping up It’s 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon and we are getting close to La Paz, where the Chavez team will disembark. The first leg of the Gulf of California expedition has come to an end! The crew and the ship, however, will be continuing on to the next leg of the expedition with a …

Expedition Log

02.16.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 10

Another busy day I often mention the schedule we have of dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight casts but in reality, those four cast times are only the main events of each day. Today, for example, we had a cast at dawn, a pump cast at about 11 a.m., the recovery of the second sediment trap …

Expedition Log

02.15.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 9

Second day at time-series station We’ve almost made it through the second day. We’re tired and hot (it’s been in the high 80s (F) every day, and even warmer inside the lab), but generally pleased with how smoothly we’re getting through the work. That doesn’t mean that every single cast goes perfectly. Today at dawn, …

Expedition Log

02.14.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 8

The First Endless Day It’s 9:30 p.m. on our first day at the time-series station. Fifteen hours ago we were all on deck, ready to begin our dawn cast. As I had predicted last night, the nervousness proved to be for nothing—or maybe it’s what kept us on our toes—but the cast went off without …

Expedition Log

02.13.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 7

“We’ve got a lot of prepping to do!” After our nightly meeting and a presentation by Martín Hernández, the group’s focus shifted to preparation for the continuous experiments that will begin tomorrow, literally at the crack of dawn. As usual, we stopped to make a CTD cast at a GOC 2012 site. The results of …

Expedition Log

02.12.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 6

Another Day, Another Cast At about 1:00 p.m. we reoccupied another GOC 2012 site and made our first pump cast on this expedition. Gernot Friederich, an ocean chemist at MBARI, has designed a system of water collection that differs from the Niskin bottle method. The cable that lowers the CTD rosette has a tube running …

Expedition Log

02.11.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 5

Back to Sea, Back to Work Although we crossed into a different time zone today (we are now in Mountain Time), the Western Flyer has no need to change its clocks an hour ahead. We will be on the boat for the next week so really, it matters very little what the time is elsewhere and it …

Expedition Log

02.10.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 4

Time to refuel After just one day in port, the scientists were ready to get moving and back to science. Therefore, no one was too pleased when our fuel truck was delayed, pushing our departure back. The fueling process itself takes about two hours as 75,000 liters of fuel are pumped into the ship. Once …

Expedition Log

02.09.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 3

Aquí estamos en México We arrived in Ensenada early this morning and began the process of clearing the R/V Western Flyer through Mexican customs. The process went smoothly and Francisco Chavez was able to make it off the boat in time for his talk at El Caracol—the soon-to-be maritime museum of Ensenada where he spoke about the Gulf …

Expedition Log

02.08.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 2

Passing the time in transit Today was an unusual day for the scientists aboard the Western Flyer—we made no new casts and spent the entire day in transit. Travelling at about 10 nautical miles per hour since leaving M1 yesterday, we are now off the coast of San Diego. We are making good time even with …

Expedition Log

02.07.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current

The 2015 Gulf of California expedition begins with a three-day transit of the R/V Western Flyer from Moss Landing to Ensenada, Mexico. On this first leg, researchers led by Senior Scientist Francisco Chavez will collect observations at a station west of the Islas Marias in the northern Eastern Pacific Warm Pool for three days. They will conduct high …

Expedition Log

02.07.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 1

First day of the expedition Like many of you reading this cruise log, I am not a scientist and I’ve never been on a research expedition before. Needless to say, boarding the Western Flyer—an MBARI research vessel named for the sardine boat that John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts took to the Sea of Cortez in 1940—this …