Today marks the end of Leg 2, and beginning of Leg 3 for the Cabled Array VISIONS’15 cruise. It has been a wonderful run so far. Over this past 26 days, the Cabled Array Team working with the R/V Thompson and ROPOS crew have recovered and reinstalled all the required instruments at the summit of Axial Seamount and at the Southern Hydrate Ridge methane seep site. Six of the science pods on the three Shallow Profiler Moorings were recovered, and four of these were reinstalled on moorings at the base of Axial Seamount and at the base of the continental slope. Two Deep Profiler moorings were recovered and three were installed. We also turned two instrumented junction boxes: in total 75 instruments were recovered and reinstalled during Leg 2. Leg 3 will see the completion of our annual maintenance of the Cabled Array system.
Deb Kelley will ‘retire’ as Chief Scientist and Orest Kawka will take the lead. Skip Denny and Bob Collier (OSU) will sail as Co- Chief Scientists. Leg 3 will focus on the Oregon Endurance Offshore and Shelf sites. Two Benthic Experiment Platforms will be recovered and reinstalled, and two science pods will be installed on the Shallow Profiler at the Offshore site. In addition, a few seafloor instruments will be turned, including a zooplankton sonar.
Similar to Leg 1, the UW science-engineering team gives a heartfelt thank you to the ROV ROPOS and R/V Thompson teams – it is an honor to sail with these fine people who keep us safe and help us get our work accomplished.