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

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 the fuel arrived, however, the ship’s crew had us gassed up and ready to hit the open water as soon as possible.

The Western Flyer awaits refueling in Ensenada.

Before leaving port, we added two new scientists to our numbers: Professor Martin Hernández and a doctoral student, Karla Mejilla, of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.  Martin is a longtime collaborator of MBARI who participated in the Gulf of California 2012 expedition. He is an ocean chemist who is interested in ocean acidity. Karla, a student of coastal oceanography, specializes in sediments and trace metals in the ocean.

(left to right) Francisco Chavez, Martin Hernandez, Karla Mejilla, and Gernot Friederich look at Martin’s “Sea pHOx”—an instrument that measures pH, oxygen, temperature, and salinity.

The newly expanded scientific team came together this evening to go over the schedule of CTD casts planned for tomorrow and beyond. Then Tim Pennington continued the mini seminar series we began with Jason Smith and Ryan Paerl the other night. Tim shared with the group the work that he and Marguerite Blum have done testing “Gulpers”—mechanical water collection devices that could one day be used instead of the ship-based CTD system.

Tim Pennington talks to the science team about Gulpers.

Tomorrow morning we will be stopping at a GOC 2012 site to make three CTD casts. Back to science!

—Gabriela Chavez

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).