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

The Western Flyer welcomes visiting students aboard.

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 of California 2015 expedition. Steve Etchemendy, director of marine operations at MBARI, organized an open house and colloquium for Mexican collaborators and students.

The Western Flyer welcomes visiting students aboard.

The rest of the scientific team disembarked shortly after and the ship’s crew then hosted several tours of the ship’s laboratories and showed students scientific instruments used for the expedition.

Doc Ricketts, the remote operated vehicle (ROV) that is housed in the center of the Western Flyer.

Those who weren’t giving talks and hosting tours spent the day as tourists. For some of us, it was our first day in Mexico; others have made more port calls in Ensenada than they can count. But regardless of experience, almost everyone moved together through town, taking it all in. It was nice to see how the team stayed together once we came ashore, even though they spend so much time together at sea. From eating fresh ceviche, to dipping our toes in the slightly-warmer-than-Monterey waters at Playa Hermosa, to finding the best fish tacos in town, everyone made the best of the day at port, enjoying the time on dry land and the break from science. That comes to an end tomorrow when we set off for eight straight days at sea.

Almejas en la concha—clam ceviche in the shell—from a lunch cart.

About 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 resolution pump sampling to study the nitrogen transformations associated with the decay of microbial phytoplankton at the top of the world’s largest oxygen minimum zone (OMZ).