OBS in the Pacific Day 8

Oceans and Seas » Pacific
July 16th 2012
Published: July 16th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Day 8. Sunday, 15 July 2012.
Upon original thought, I supposed that today was halfway day, but then I realized that Sunday (the day we arrived) minus Tuesday (the day we are finished) divided by 2(for average) = Monday. So I guess that means halfway day is tomorrow, right? I guess the cigars and brandy will have to wait…
When Caitlin last left us off, we were getting ready to deploy the TRM with almost everything on the ship that floated (with the exception of lifejackets and humans treading water) the purpose of increasing positive buoyancy and easing it to the bottom. When John and I relieved the midnight watch, everyone knew what time it was…. Jason time. The plan was to deploy Jason and take a look at our TRM, pick it up, and carefully place it next to the TRM from Scripps (University of California at San Diego School of Oceanography). When we got down there, we found our instrument had drifted nearly 100 meters in the ocean currents, rendering it 150 meters away from the Scripps instrument; this was certainly not ideal.
The deployment of Jason and Medea went off without a hitch; however, there was a fundamental problem with the engineering in this deployment plan. Many variables come into play with this plan, and one major unknown was the true weight of the TRM. Unfortunately, when we arrived on scene, it was a worst-case-scenario. Even after Jason pulled his knife and meticulously cut the added weight free from the TRM, he was unable to lift it from the ground. The team was forced to abandon the TRM and let it collect its data from its current position. Of course not all is lost in doing this, orientation photos of both the Scripps instrument and the Lamont instrument were recorded, so any seismic activity could be analyzed as such from the overlap in data (photos from HD Grab). Most importantly, lessons were learned and there are still TRM’s to be deployed.
The next few watches saw little action in the line of science, with the highlight coming on Caitlin, Natsumi and Cheng’s watch. They retrieved a deep water OBS with little trouble at all. The highlight on my watch came when I snuck up to the O-deck for a minute and saw 6! Pacific White Sided dolphins (photos from Barry). That was a nice perk to get me through the watch. After-watch saw another “Dale Highlight Reel” moment when I was informed that the Captain had put a few lines in the water back aft. Seeing the excitement in my face, Hanna and Astrika were nice enough to relieve me early so I could go tend to them (iPhone photos). I spoke with Wayne, a retired Coast Guard Commander and Jason Team Member at length about his time in the Coast Guard and his love of fishing. It was nice to have the conversation; all that was missing was a beer! Even though we didn’t catch anything, those of you who know me well know that you won’t be able to wipe this smile off my face the rest of the night. Time to go get some chow! Until tomorrow….


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