July 16-17, 2018
We have been blessed with remarkable weather on this trip so far. Though it was projected that the weather would be quite horrible, I have seen nothing but glassy seas and playful winds. I am very glad that every time we had expected to run into bad weather, we have been able to bypass it. Hopefully, we are able to continue this.
This morning, we were able to deploy the 200-meter platform as well as the second leg. We got this done far more quickly than anticipated and, as such, were able to start on the JASON dives at about 2 pm. We should be finished with everything that had been planned out for Leg 3 by early tomorrow morning. However, attaching the SPA to the platform has proved challenging. I hope we will get them attached soon. Due to the weather, we have essentially been able to do two days of work in only one day.
I was in the control van a lot throughout the evening in order to help teach and supervise the newer student scientists. Everyone was very willing to learn and asked a lot of questions. Leland Wood was very interest in the JASON dives, to the point that he wanted to work on it more. When he asked if he could have my midnight until 4am shift, I was certainly not going to fight him on it. I decided that I would take on the 4am to 8am shift if we had one, but I was nearly certain that this shift would never occur.
I was so convinced that I would not have a shift that I stayed up late playing a card game with some of the other students. I headed to bed at about 2:30 am. As I was taking my laptop from the galley to my berth, Leland Wood intercepted me to ask if I was just waking up or if I was going to bed. Groggily, I asked what on earth he was talking about. He responded that a new dive was supposed to start in about an hour. A sinking sense of realization set in as I began to understand my mistake.
Deciding it was easier to simply stay up rather than go to bed, I went up to my room to read a book. I briefly attempted to sleep but reading just seemed much easier. At 3:45, I checked into my watch in the control van. We were still on deck at the time, getting ready to go into the water. The dive was much more successful than the last one, though, and we were able to secure the SPA to the VM platform.
Almost 24 hours after I had woken up, I retreated to bed. Unfortunately, they decided that was a great time to needle-gun the rust on the other side of my wall away and I slept fitfully. I finally got up at about 2pm and went down to the main deck to help Julie Nelson and the other students with the CTD cast. It is always interesting to see the survey that the CTD collects on the way down. After a second CTD, we collected the samples from it. I was excited because this time I was in charge of logging which samples were taken from which Niskin bottle. It was easier than I had anticipated, but it was really nice to learn something new.
Early tomorrow morning, we will return to port. It is sad to think that this leg is nearly finished. It has been so short. Wishing that I had more time to spend with the other students, all of whom I have gotten along with very well, I spent the time after dinner spending time with them. First, we were able to get a tour of the bridge. After that, I played a variety of games with them. It will be sad to see them go, but I know that it will not be too long before I see them again in Seattle. I am optimistic that Leg 4 will go as well as Leg 3 has.
July 15, 2018
This was one of the most exciting days I have experienced on the ship so far. The installation of the shallow profiler is different from anything else that I have seen installed and the operations for proper deployment are completely different than how I had guessed they would play out. It felt like the entire science party and all the student scientists were on deck today watching and helping with deck ops.
We were very lucky today in that the weather was perfect. Smooth seas, moderate winds, and a sun bright enough to keep us warm while working outside. I share a shift with Katie Gonzalez from 11am until 2 pm, but so much was going on that we were helping on deck well before and after that.
Today’s deployment was of the EOM cable with its anchor and two cages with plug-ins to connect other equipment to. Tomorrow, we will deploy another cable- however this one will not be electrical- and the platform for the SPA to sit on. Some of what is happening is hard for me to understand, especially because I know very little about engineering. However, I found that people were very eager to talk about this project and, when asked, often supplied more information than was even asked for. I have had several people explain to me what was happening today, but I was able to piece everything together and I feel that I now have a good understanding of today’s events.
The engineers on deck also let- and encouraged- the students help with the deployment of the cable. I was able to help attach floats to the cable that will keep it buoyant as well as help with the EOM cage. It is crazy to think that something I worked on (albeit barely) will be in the ocean for years to come.
July 14, 2018
I forced myself to get up early for breakfast again today. You would think that three weeks into this, my body would be used to this by now, but I guess you would be wrong. No matter ho much sleep I get or when I go to bed, waking up early is always a struggle for me. I don’t understand it.
After breakfast, Katie Gonzalez and I worked on the photo board for the main lab, a project in which we post the picture, name, and title of everyone in the science party and the JASON team so that people will get to know each other easier. I love working on these for each leg because it helps us get to know everyone well. Unfortunately, with all that was happening on deck, we were not able to get all the photos we needed, so we were not able to get all the photos we needed so we will have to complete the photo board tomorrow morning.
After that, I made a call to my mom on the deck above the hanger. This is my favorite place on the ship because you get a great view of the water and the sky, but you also get to see everything that is happening on deck. When I have coverage, my favorite thing to do is call my family and talk to them while looking down at what is happening below. It almost feels like bridging two worlds in one. Unfortunately, as I was getting off the phone with my mom, I got distracted and hit the top of my head on a large beam of metal. This left me with a sore bump on my head and a headache for the rest of the day. It also caused quite a commotion when I told marine tech Julie Nelson about it, who insisted on informing the Chief Mate and the Captain. Safety is important on the ship and I realize I shouldn’t have been walking around on deck without fully paying attention to where I was going. Luckily, I did not bump my head very hard, so I am fine.
However, the headache this left combined with the nausea of transit left me out for the count for most of the day. I was able to take a lot of photos and videos of what was soon to be the EOM strongback on deck before we left port, but after we got past the jetty and had our abandon ship drill I knew that I needed to lie down. I rested for a while before heading down to the galley in the hopes that food would revive me. It didn’t. Thankfully, after taking some Aspirin and lying down again, I felt much better.
The other students and I were able to set up our watches for tomorrow and the next day. We will each have a three-hour watch with our cabinmate in which we are in charge of taking photos and videos of the 2-legged mooring installation. I also worked on with Katie Bigham and Mitch Eland to work out the best way to go about documenting everything. I then finished setting up the station for cameras and their chargers that the students will be using. As the installation for these instruments is something that very, very few people are able to see, I am excited for the task of documenting it.
July 13, 2018
It is the beginning of one leg, but the end of another. Today I said goodbye to some friends that I have just made, but I also met a whole new group of students that all seem to be just as nice. I clicked with all of them almost immediately. Getting the newest students oriented is easy to do as they were all eager to learn.
Orest Kawka and Skip Denny walked us through what we will be doing on this leg- we will be replacing a damaged shallow profiler and 2-legged mooring with another one. As this is something that has only successfully been done by the Applied Physics Lab under Eric Boget, who appears to be retiring soon, this is something that needs to be very well documented, which is the bulk of what the students on this leg will be doing.
I sense that a few of the new student scientists feel pretty overwhelmed by what is projected to happen during Leg 3. Honestly, I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed myself. Operations for this leg seem like they will be quite different from the previous legs I have been on. This is far more engineering focused than any other leg. Additionally, the equipment on board, for the most part, looks extremely different from what I have become used to. It will be interesting to compare my experiences with this leg with my experiences of other legs.