Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I'll try to report back tomorrow. We shove off on Friday.
Monday, September 13, 2010
After the drill, Carol had whipped up some amazing homemade donuts and éclairs. Once we filled our bellies and our allotted time with the collection of a few more cores, the Captain turned the ship to the south and began the long steam home. We fortunate to have relatively smooth seas for the trip home, so we could get all our stuff rinsed with freshwater and packed away and then enjoy the beautiful New Zealand coastline, play some cards and relax. All in all it was a very successful cruise.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The crew and scientists are a seasoned bunch. Upon reaching the station, everyone has their foulweather gear on and is ready for sampling. Despite light rain, deck operations move efficiently. As this is our second cruise on the Kaharoa, the coring procedure is well choreographed. Steve (Chief Mate), Dan (2nd Mate), Pete (AB) and Alan (NIWA scientist) guide the multicore on and off the ship. When cores are landed on deck, Alan orchestrates their disassembling and sub-sampling with the help of Rip (Univ. of Washington), Reide (East Carolina Univ.) and me (J.P., also of ECU). Our typical duties are: core x-raying (Alan), core slicing and bagging (Rip and Reide) and sieving for macrofauna (me...note in picture that I do get dirty). All the while, students Joey Kiker (ECU) and Julia Moriarity (Virginia Inst. of Marine Science) work endless hours in the lab, conducting erosion analyses of cores; they are excellent workers. Once we get into a routine, the coring moves pretty quick, and before we know it, it’s time for another meal or snack. Thanks to Carol, we are very well fed. In New Zealand, they have “smoco” at 10AM and 3PM. “Smoco” is short for smoke and coffee break, and on the ship, Carol serves up tasty snacks, like cake or cookies. Her éclairs are fabulous (see last cruise), but I think my new favorite treat is the freshly made donuts with whipped cream and raspberry jam. Now, I know all this mention of food sounds pretty decadent, but when you’re working hard on the deck of moving ship, discussion of and anticipation for food can really help keep people going. The other thing which aids in enjoyment of the day is the endless teasing and joking that goes on, and it seems on this ship, everyone is involved in the fun. The reality is that is it can be tough working on the ocean. Sleep, food and some fun make it manageable.
Although the day started like a routine one, our scheduled plan had to be shifted because of unforeseen events (which seems to be typical) As most of the world knows, Christchurch, New Zealand experienced a major (7.1 magnitude) earthquake a few days ago (the day we left, September 4th at 4:30 AM). Obviously, this was/is big news across the country. Although we were not directly impacted, everyone aboard knows people who were there. The person most affected was Simon, our Captain, who lives in Christchurch when not at sea. Indeed, we were really happy to have Simon as our Captain because he’s not only a very competent seaman but also a great guy. Unfortunately, on the morning of the 8th, Christchurch experienced another strong earthquake, and as a result, Simon had to get home to deal with problems caused by the recent events. As a result, we returned to port about mid-day on the 8th. A replacement captain, Evan, met the ship that evening. He has lots of experience. He has captained the Kaharoa previously and now typically works on the larger Tangiroa. Evan is friendly and relaxed and will certainly prove to be a very good captain for us as well. Of course, we wish Simon and all in Christchurch well.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
It was a good day. Weather was pretty nice, and the coring went well. Of course, the food was great as usual. Attached are some pictures. The highlight of the day was definitely being followed by the Navy ship and boarded by the Fisheries officers. We certainly were not in violation of anything, but a ship we saw earlier in the day throwing lingcod over the side likely was not behaving appropriately. Apparently, Fisheries works closely with the Navy on managing the waters. Unfortunately, I need to get back to eat some dinner. I'll let the other pics speak for themselves. Enjoy. J.P.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
9/6/10 Day 1
We made port in Gisborne around mid-day on Monday (6/9/10) with three tripods in tow (not really towing them, they are on deck). Yes, all three tripods were recovered successfully thanks to a truly exception captain and crew, as well as the experienced scientific party (pat, pat, pat…sorry, had to do it)…everyone chipping in when needed.
We spent the first ~26 hours of the cruise steaming for our first site. Once arriving at our deep water station (~350 meters) at about 1945 hours on 9/5/10, we started several hours of CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) stations. We completed a detailed shore normal and parallel transect at about 0400 and then re-rigged the A-frame in order to deploy the multi-corer at two additional stations. Not a bad nights works…finished it off with a big breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast, beans, and fresh coffee).
Aaahhh, but the day was just beginning. As the winds picked up to more than 20 knots (expected to reach a gale this afternoon), white caps as far as the eye could see, we were all anxious to retrieve the three tripods that have been collecting data (waves, currents, temperature, salinity, turbidity) for the last four months…always an unnerving time. Will the tripods still be there, will they respond, send their float to the surface? As you can see, all three are present and accounted for…YES!!!
See the faces of surprise, excitement, elation…or is it confusion? The fun is just beginning…we start first thing in the morning, collecting cores along the margin.