Cruise Update #1 (Chief Scientist Dr. Vernon Asper)
Point Sur 17-05 left Cocodrie promptly at midnight this morning and we are now steaming to the Taylor Energy site, where we will sample the water in various ways and also test some new equipment. Preparations were busy, as they always are, and included welding the support stands for the anchors (Max welding, Steve cutting in the photo), positioning all of the gear in the lab, assembling various systems, and sorting out where to store everything on deck. We expect to arrive on station at about 11:00 this morning but are fighting some counter currents so we may be delayed by a few minutes.
Cruise Update #2 (Chief Scientist Dr. Vernon Asper)
Just a brief report today. See photo of the slick at Taylor Energy site where we have Mareike Floth (UCSB) pumps hanging. The pumps are back on deck and we will test the Develogic system in a few minutes.
Cruise Update #3 (Chief Scientist Dr. Vernon Asper)
The big lander and the mooring are on deck and everything seems to have worked fine, so we are furiously working to turn everything around for a 04:00am deployment before steaming to the next station. Overnight we will do a long pumping station with the snowcam as ballast weight so we have a lot going on. The cable electrical problems (both the slip rings AND the termination) have been repaired and the Develogic system has been deck tested but not lowered yet. The weather is still good; maybe 3-4' with occasional rain but nothing that will impede our progress. More as it happens...
Cruise Update #4 (Chief Scientist Dr. Vernon Asper)
The mooring went in the water this morning; first floats in the water at 9:04; anchor drop at 11:56. We overshot the desired position by 200m to allow for fallback so it should be within maybe 50m of the previous location. It has 3 sediment traps, the snow/flux/cam, and an ADCP, and will be recovered after 9/10/17. And we dropped the anchor just a few minutes before a major thunderstorm hit, bringing some strong wind and significant seas.
From here, we rendezvous with a small boat to pick up a laser that was stuck in FedEx Neverland, a detour that will cost us a few hours, but it's worth it. We have some extra CTD casts in the schedule that Kai (Ziervogel) and Uta (Passow) say can be sacrificed, so we expect to be able to accomplish all of our goals and the small boat for the rendezvous may be provided at no charge by LUMCON. These guys are pretty amazing!
Being Taco Tuesday, we had some fantastic tacos plus some stuffed chili peppers that were amazing. We aren't losing any weight.
Cruise Update #5 (Chief Scientist Dr. Vernon Asper)
The final lander is now on the bottom and we used the Develogic system to pass back over it 6 or 7 times to check out how it landed and it looks perfect. The chimney appears to have a good seal, it is perfectly upright, and the probes appear to have penetrated the sediment just right. We are now making our way over to the other three landers to try to get some video of them as well. They have floats about 10m above them so we can't get very close, but we should at least get a good glimpse of them. We are very impressed with how well the crew of this ship can hold position and put our packages right where we ask, even in 1,600m of water. Jack is at the helm presently but they are all excellent and never complain.
Once the launcher is back on board, we will do another pumping station and then head for home. We have accomplished all of our goals and are looking forward to the October cruise when we will turn the three small landers around and redeploy them. I hope we have the same weather then as we're having now.