Retrieving the OBS
Hello from the Pacific Ocean! Our day started out pretty normal but finished with a big bang today! During my first shift of the day, we recovered a second OBS from a depth of over two thousand meters. Everything ran very smoothly. At the beginning of our next shift, 4PM-8PM, Jason testing was underway. A line broke and the hood of the TMR fell into the ocean; this is where the craziness began. Its location is currently unknown, but plans to recover the hood via the Jason are currently being fine-tuned. Until then, this hood will be falling almost two thousand meters to the bottom of the ocean, waiting to be picked up by the crew of the Thompson.
Besides this unexpected situation, everything has been running very smooth. Our shifts involve logging the basic navigation information of the research vessel and staring at five computer screens for these four hours. We were given a tour of the Jason today as well as the Jason van, where all the controls for the instrument are located. Our five screens are nothing compared to their fifteen to twenty-screened room. Monitors cover the walls with wires running across every available space. Once we begin to use the Jason for deployment purposes within the next day, we’ll be moving from the lab station inside the ship to the Jason station on-deck, logging information relating to its deployment and monitoring all recording devices.
Life on the ship is a blur in some ways. Meal times last not more than an hour with each individual eating their own meal within ten to fifteen minutes, jumping right back into their work/station. But, we’re being pampered. The food is amazing. This paired with the gentle rocking of the ship (It’s supposed to be about a four foot swell right now) is a whole new comfortable type of adventure for any field scientist. We’re expected to get seven to nine foot swells later this weekend, and even though we’re not supposed to want that, I’m excited to experience such rough weather (that is rough for the Pacific during the summer). But, no one has gotten sea sick yet, so we’re still crossing our fingers that we’ll all be very energetic and healthy when we do get those larger swells! Sleep has become a fragmented activity. Sleep before your shift, after your shift, whenever you can. The unusual hours as well as the constant rocking of the boat have made most of the ship’s passengers tired; not unusual I’m told. But, it’s past 8PM here, which means I should be heading to bed so I can get up and be in the lab before my 4AM shift starts.