Ashley Lobao’s Blogs Leg 3

July 16, 2018

Final Mooring installations

The mechanical leg and the platform of the two-legged mooring was successfully installed today. This meant that Jason is allowed to install the two science packages onto the platform. These two packages hold all the electrical equipment that the data is derived from. The PIA was the first package to be installed. The PIA is a stationary piece of equipment that has a range of instruments attached, like a salinity sensor or a temperature sensor.  The installation for this package was successful however, when it came to installing the SPA—the second package which contains a profiler that surveys the top ~200m of the water column—Jason had a slightly more difficult time. I was in the van or the control room for the installation of these two science packages. My job was to log events or actions done by Jason for example, when Jason went into the water I would log this event. I found it quite fascinating watching the cameras on the ROV, many different animals would swim or float by and it made me feel as if I was the one being submerged 200m under the surface.

July 15, 2018

Getting Started

Before the end of Day 1, student schedules were made; we were all assigned to a three-hour period where we were to watch and record the beginnings of the profiler installation. My shift was 8am-11am and during this time I was also asked to control the A-frame. The A-frame is situated on the stern of the ship and lowers lines into the water. It was overall a very successful day where we were able to fully install the fiber optic cable of the mooring. Tomorrow’s goal is to install the other leg of the mooring as well as the vertical platform. We might even get to see some JASON action! The evening was pretty relaxed, with operations complete at 5pm everyone was ready to feast on the Sunday BBQ. A good ginger beer to settle my stomach and I was ready to sleep! Us students headed up to the library to play Bananagram a much faster and more competitive version of scrabble. In all day two was good! I enjoyed learning and watching the complex installation.

July 14, 2018
A Five Hour Transit

On a sunny Saturday in the middle of July, the R/V Roger Revelle set sail from Newport for the 3rd time. Visions cruise leg 3 had begun. The day started early for most of us with breakfast then a very important safety meeting. Us students then continued to situate ourselves by setting up our work stations in the main lab, while everyone else prepared in their own way for the coming days on the ocean. Out on deck the two-legged shallow profiler mooring, new for most, was slowly but surely coming together, I guess it too was preparing for its departure. Large metal plates, weighing roughly 2000Ibs each were carefully lifted and placed onto the anchors. Fiber optic and steel cables were coiled up. We were all ready to head out.

As we exited under the bridge to the ocean the waves began to pick up. Although I had taken some seasickness medication I did feel seasick. As this feeling started to grow we had an abandon ship drill. As we were running through the required safety procedures I was trying my best not to be sick. Once the drill was over I managed to sit down at a stable location on the ship and recover from the nausea. Dinner was crab which was caught by our Captain along with some amazing sides from our chefs. The evening ended with a science party meeting where we discussed the issues with the profiler deployment. In all it was an eventful first day.