Building Good Karma
Our work was interrupted Friday so that we could assist a vessel having engine difficulties. They were near us, about 60 miles offshore, and had lost all power and electricity. They had been working on the issue for about five hours, and we were asked to see if we could provide some help. Two of our NOAA Corps members took equipment over in our small boat. They stood by as the people in the fishing boat got their engine started and felt confident enough to head into shore. We were glad to assist but also sad as we watched our limited research window tick away.
However, helping the fishing vessel must have given us some good “karma” as today has been amazing. The weather forecast had everyone worried last night. High winds and high seas were predicted, and we had two landers and a mooring to recover. We wanted to complete some CTDs, and mapping as well. We awoke to a beautiful sunrise and recovered our first lander in about 40 minutes total. We steamed to the next lander and recovered it just a quickly. It was amazing to have both landers on deck before lunch.
The next challenge was finding and retrieving a mooring we had deployed last year. A mooring is much like a lander in that it stays submerged and records data for an extended period of time. The main difference is that the mooring has a long string of floats coming up from the base, and monitoring equipment can be placed along the line, thus getting measurements higher up in the water column rather than just at the base. This mooring has a Honju sediment trap at the base, and ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) for measuring current, and a Microcat (a type of CTD).
And like the landers, a ping is sent down to release the weight and allow it to surface.
The mooring came up quickly. As the crew and science team got it up on deck, we were treated to an awesome display of blows and fins from a pod of Minke Whales. We continued to see the whales throughout the day, as we ran a series of CTDs. About mid-afternoon Furu spotted a Whale Shark off the bow. It stayed around for several minutes, allowing nearly everyone a good look. The day ended with sunset behind us as we continued to do CTDs.
Whatever the reason, we are all excited with the work we accomplished, and looking forward to another jam-packed day tomorrow.