April 11, 2006

Last night the ship chugged southward through mildly rough water. Sometime during the course of the night I awoke as the ship slammed into a wave. All in all, the rocking motion of the ship proved to be soothing for sleep. Not all aboard are having the same experience. Several researchers have become seasick as well as a few on the crew. Currently the ship is at 33 degrees north and 75 degrees west. The current water temperature is 22 degrees Celsius with a cool breeze of 12 knots. The wind speed is creating 1 to 2 m waves. We changed our destination because satellite ocean temperature monitors indicate a cold-core ring at our desired site. Cold-core rings form where warm water currents and cold water currents come in contact. The shearing zone causes turbulence and some of the cold and warm water cells can circulate into water of a different temperature. Since we are censusing organisms in warmer waters, the cold-core ring would not be an ideal site. We are planning to reach our first site sometime tonight. The new location will be 33.5 degrees north and 70 degrees west.

Today was spent getting the plankton nets and the MOCNESS ready to go. I helped repair and put on nets. We also practiced fire and abandon ship drills. I hope we never need to experience the real thing. Although cool, the weather was fair and the ocean's expansive dark blue contrasted with the light blue sky. Even darker patches of blue appeared over the ocean. These are likely shadows cast by clouds. Tonight we are going to put on the big plankton nets. Things are still going slowly because we do not have specimens yet, but as soon as the first tows are finished the CMarZ group will be very busy.

Daily Question: Using the Pythagorean Theorem calculate the distance I will have traveled from Charleston to our first site, knowing that 1 degree is equivalent to 60 miles.


Picture 1: Sunset over the Atlantic


Picture 2: Preparing MOC ¼ m plankton net

Picture 3: Setting up research lab

Picture 4: Safety drill aboard Ron H. Brown