Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weather days and moorings

I know it has been a while since I posted anything. I do have an excuse,
though. We were without email connectivity for about 4 days and prior to
that we had been limited to small email sizes. The ship had sailed into a
virtual dead zone between satellites. Yet, I was confused as to why we
could not receive or send email, but still had satellite phone
connectivity. I learned that the email and phone connect to 2 different
satellites, inmarsat and iridium, respectively. The iridium satellite
follows a different, more frequent orbital pattern so that it covers more
area than the inmarsat. So, mystery solved!

In other news we have spent the last 4 days recovering moorings. These 2
moorings had been deployed at least one year ago. They were anchored to
the sea floor, their buoyancy system allowing them to be suspended at a
chosen depth in the water column. The moorings consist of instruments that
measure water current, as well as conductivity, temperature and pressure
(i.e., depth; CTD). The moorings are remotely released from the anchor
and, once they reach the surface, have to be located the old-fashioned
way-with binoculars and keen eyes. The floats attached to the mooring are
typically a bright color; these were bright orange and one even had a light
beacon. The prize was a bottle of Chilean wine, to be purchased in Punta
Arenas, for whoever saw the mooring first. We had some weather delays so
the recovery took longer than anticipated. Both moorings were located and
instruments accounted for. Success! I would highly recommend going to the
following blog website:
Juan Botella has provided a nice video and other information about the
mooring recovery.

On a side note I have never been on a cruise that has experienced so many
weather delays. Of course I have never sailed in the Southern Ocean this
late in the season. If I ever write a proposal to support fieldwork in the
Southern Ocean, I will make sure it doesn't occur so close to winter!

We started a new transect yesterday, but more weather delays have been a
problem. We are pretty far south, 74 degrees south latitude. We are
making a diagonal transect in a northeasterly direction away from the
continent and towards the continuation of our 67 south latitude line.

I have kept myself busy during the down time by knitting and working on
other work-related projects that I brought with me. I have also watched
some movies and TV shows, such as 'Castle' and 'Flight of the
Conchords.' Actually, in the picture I have attached, I am wearing the
hat that I completed on this cruise. Turned out pretty well, I think!

I believe that is all for now. I don't usually like to have pictures of
me, but thought I would at least provide 1 in this blog. Hopefully, now
that we are doing our science again, something a little more interesting
will happen.


1 comment:

  1. HI! I have been reading your blogs. I am really enjoying them. YOUR BETTER KEEP YOUR SOCKS ON!!! Can't wait to see your pictures. Take care of yourself and know that i love you!! Let me know when you get back. Love you, Grandma
    (Aunt darlene is helping me with this)