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19 November 2012

posted Nov 19, 2012, 8:43 PM by Amy Waterhouse   [ updated Nov 20, 2012, 2:47 AM ]
“The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the ship.
All that cold, cold, wet day.”

Indeed it's wet, the only thing Dr. Seuss was missing: the wind! We are holding station on top of Eel canyon with the winds blowing over 55 knots and swell of 20ft. We had to suspend operations last night due to the weather and finished our time series by using up our remaining XBTs.

Some of the exciting data we were getting before the weather halted CTD profiling at midnight.
Over 200m of mixing water just downstream of the ridge!

The ocean is rather unforgiving when it gets wild, and today was no exception. Our external battery case on the LADCP had flooded at some point over the last few days, explaining why we were having some problems with communication. Luckily we still got great data from the other ADCP and have a plan B already in the works for whenever the weather lets up.

Coming up with a back up plan for our science goals without being able to do CTD profiles and without the ship board sonar, left us with our remaining XBTs. XBTs provide us with vertical profiles of temperature within Eel Canyon near our mooring at the head of the canyon. A particularly special thanks goes out to Kris Weeks, computer tech extraordinaire, who has gone above and beyond for us in helping us deploy XBTs in this weather (as well as staying up late). A further 24 XBTs were generously donated by the UC Ship funds program thanks to Bruce Appelgate.

Our preemptive strapping down of the lab came in handy this morning as the ship rocked from side to side, back to front. With the outer decks secured, the view from the bridge of the incredible power of the ocean was stunning. Dolphins joined us in the steam across from Mendocino Ridge to Eel canyon as water sprayed over the decks.

Some exciting moments from the bridge of the Melville.

Dolphins chasing the Melville through the waves and 50 kt winds.

With everyone in good spirits, we listened to our nightly science moment by Liz Bunin. She taught us about the wonders of marine sedimentology and her time spent up in Svalbard, Norway, where Hanne also went to school.

Liz Bunin, our marine sedimentologist!

Fingers crossed for tomorrow...