Welcome to the web site for Sediment and Solute Transport on Rivers and Margins (SSTORM) Research Group! Reide Corbett and J.P. Walsh from East Carolina University and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute lead the team.
Check out our research in/on wetlands, estuaries, barrier islands, shelves and groundwater.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Heaps More Coring

Pictures Above: The pics above show that we've had some good weather... but that it got bumpy today (probably ~8 ft swells with moderate seas under 20 knots of wind).  It made work pretty challenging.  Yesterday, the crew were excited to find out they they would be doing a trip to Tahiti soon... so, they celebrated by wearing their aloha shirts.  Also, we were fortunate that we caught a small tuna yesterday, so tonight we had some fresh sushi and some grilled steaks thanks to the Captain, Simon.  As an East Carolina University Pirate, I felt compelled to do my best imitation today while cutting a core.

12 Feb 2011

Since I last wrote, we have been doing lots of coring.  We've now collected 31 cores in total and recovered 2 of the 3 tripods. So, yes, an immediate concern is third tripod, particularly for me as this has mostly ECU instruments on it.  The good thing is that we have talked to the acoustic release by sending sound from a unit on the ship.  So, we basically know where the tripod (or at least the release) sits on the seafloor.  But, unfortunately, after sending the release command, a float hasn't popped up on the surface.  After waiting a couple days for a float to appear, we decided today to try doing some cable and a large chain to try to bump the tripod and release the float.  Basically what this entailed was deploying some cable along the seafloor with a chain attached to the end and then trying to form a loop to nudge the tripod.  It sounds easy in theory, but I assure you it isn't.  And we had no luck.  Even our experienced Captain and crew were seeming a bit frustrated.  Tomorrow we will need to get more serious and will use a grappling hook to try to snare the tripod.  So, now we remain hopeful but are a bit more concerned.  Anyway, enough of that negative thinking.  Otherwise the trip has gone very well and the weather has been pretty good... no serious wind, waves or rain.  So, the trip has pretty much unfolded as normal... our days have been spent coring incessantly (and eating Carol's awesome meals) and are nights are spent is the port of Gisborne... we finish our deck work about 6:30, then eat a yummy dinner, have an adult beverage or two over some fun conversation and then hit the hay.  We're planning to head out on the town for a little social time, but we'll be back early as the engine will start up again at 6AM and we willl coring on the open ocean not long after.  As I have said, Carol has been cooking up a storm, so we all are probably putting on some kilograms (we are in New Zealand).  But we are doing pullups during the days so our arms are getting some exercise.  Also, the boat has been moving pretty well, especially today, so we're burning some serious calories trying to do our jobs and even just to stand in place!  Today, we we thinking that most people probably can't imagine what is like trying to work and just live on a smallish ship on lively ocean.  The simplest things like going to the bathroom and drinking water or coffee become a real challenge!  Of course, the other things like move heavy objects or carrying delicate instruments/samples are that much more precarious. 

That's all for now.  Wish us luck in retrieving our third tripod and collecting lots more mud!


1 comment:

  1. Hi JP,

    Great to hear about your adventures at sea! Good luck with finding your instruments! I wonder how big the tuna was!
    Good luck!
    Skyped the kids today! Denise, Molly and Emma are terrific!
    Mom and Dad