We finnnnalllly left the port at 5:00 PM. The finishing touches on the deck started fairly early. In fact, the ship's first mate, Brian, peeked his head into my room at 7:45 AM to get me up because the port workers had arrived and their supervisor needed to speak to me about the exact jobs that needed to be completed. This just happened to be a morning I decided to hit the snooze button and sleep for 20 more minutes. Oh well.
Since they started the job so early I was certain they would have it done by 12:00-1:00 PM. How wrong I was. The job probably finished at around 3:00 PM. By this time, all the crew is once again restless and about tired of waiting in the dock. I have started to notice that being out at sea is a sort of adrenaline rush. The longer you just sit in a sea-going vessell the madder and more eager to sail you become. I can't be sure, but just the fact that we are moving makes the ship seem less closed in. The whole sea becomes your home.
Right before we departed Cpt. Bill called a quick safety meeting to go over the new equipment and overall ship set-up. Everything was secured on deck and we finally set off. During the first hour the ship scientist and I finalized the map, with the help of our GIS specialist and the captain. This planned cruise route is specifically targeting several natural seeps in the gulf. It should be an interesting task to locate the exact position of the seep in order to drop the CTD over the ship, but possible with some practice. By the end of the cruise the staff and scientists should be experts at this. Especially with the combination of the echosounder, fluorometry, and documented coordinates.
We completed a test CTD cast at around 10:30 PM and are now headed for the first official site locality in the morning. I have not pulled my pictures off to show, but will soon get to that.
I will write more tomorrow after I have had a nice 6-7 hour nap (fingers crossed).
4 days ago