Monday, August 30, 2010

The long awaited second journey begins

I did not write anything yesterday because I was busy running around talking to Captain Bill, my bosses onshore, Coast Guard, and the ship scientists trying to determine when we should head back to the gulf for our second planned trip. As I mentioned before, the weather has been relatively rough. A low pressure in the gulf just south of Mobile Bay had generated a fair amount of storms. These storms were causing combined waves of 6-9 with the occassional 11 feet surges and winds were measured at 18-24 knots with gusts up to 30.
So a lot of discussion insued about the reliability of the instrumentation, the safety of deploying the vertical cast equipment, the ability to remove the noise from the echosounder data. Finally we decided to stay in port another night. In the meantime, the Captain and I plotted a course from Theodore to the south pass of the Mississippi delta, up to Venice, Louisiana, and back again to Port Fouchon. So it may end up that we have a little Mark Twain adventure, several hours of life on the mississippi. We are hoping that we can tow the array up river collecting water quality data. This will provide a better understand of the river's influence into the gulf. It is already well documented that the discharge of the Mississippi has created a growing 'deadzone' at the mouth of birdfoot delta and into the gulf for several years.

For the rest of the time my officemate, Curt, and I have been eating numberous amounts of starburst candies and hershey miniatures while just surfing the web and talking. So I thought I would provide a few pictures of the inside of the ship and some of the people on it.
Officemate, Curt
First mate, Brian

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