Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ship science log- Day 1

I have decided to change the focus of my blog from the recent craft documentation to a log of the the activities I am going to participate in during the next 2 weeks. I will be the representative for a science vessel that has been deployed in the Gulf of Mexico for the relief efforts after the spill. I have to admit I feel slightly overwhelmed with all the responsibilities I have to take-over. My colleague and friend, Lawrence, has been doing this on and off for a total of 6 weeks so he has the drill pretty down pat. I, on the otherhand, am truely unexperienced, but hope to gain some experience over these next 2 weeks.
I arrived on the Ryan Chouest on Tuesday evening at 6:00. The ship was commissioned in 1996, it has been traveling and working in the gulf ever since. There are 24 people total on the ship- a captain, first mate, several deck hands, two cooks, four geotechnician running the echo sonar, four scientists from CSIRO, a GSI expert, and myself. It is a dynamic crew and the ship captain runs the activities on the ship very well.

Tuesday I simply arrived on the ship, meet everyone, and then made a late night supply run at wal-mart and lowe's. So for the rest of the blog I will write a little science log so that everyone can keep up with what is going on and get an understanding of ship life.

This ship has been used for this particular mission for about 3 months. The primary purpose is to monitor the detection of hydrocarbons at varying senistivities at surface depths to depths of ~100-130 m. The current instrument platform has an array of sensors that together detect and differeientate hydrocarbons in marine environments. So far the team has surveyed over 7000 nm in the Gulf. Below is a map of the previous ship cruises that have occurred during the past 3 months.
During my portion of the cruise we will also be deploying a relatively new technology, called wave gliders. These wave gliders also detect hydrocarbon values in addition to CTD information. The deployment should begin late Thursday afternoon.

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