The transition between Leg 1 and Leg 2 flew by in Newport. The R/V Revelle arrived in Newport at ~3 pm under blue, sunny skies. Folks used the evening to walk around town and stretch their legs. At 0800 Saturday morning, Larry Nielson, the lead logistics engineer from the UW Applied Physics Laboratory for the Cabled Array, had gear waiting to be mobilized onto the ship. It is a bit of a game of “deck checkers” with instruments and platforms recovered on Leg 1 craned off the ship, and gear to be installed on Leg 2 moved on. Careful placement on the deck is important such that instruments or platforms to be installed early in the cruise must be the easiest to access, while those to be deployed later in the dive program are typically placed farther back on the fantail. Demobe and mobilization is a true team effort and thanks to the APL team and ship crew, the entire demobe/mobe efforts were finished by noon on June 30th!
Around 1300 on Saturday, another major event happened – the Leg 2 students arrived and there was a cross over between Leg 1 students getting off and new students getting on. It’s always a bit of a chaotic time with lots of bags moving on and off the ship. It is also a sad time as we say goodbye to new friends we have made, but happy also as the new students board; lots of hugging and sometimes a few tears as we say goodbye, but knowing we will see each other on land. While still in port, there was the required Safety meeting and Fire and Boat drill; new participants once again dawned emergency survival suits – a perfect photo opportunity.
At 1530 on June 1, the R/V Revelle headed back out to sea to begin cruise RR1810 Leg 2 of the Cabled Array VISIONS cruise. The deck was packed to the rim with core OOI equipment and new instruments and platforms funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Navy Research. We steamed about 1 hr to the nearby OOI Oregon Shelf Site at 80 m water depth, but the winds had come up to 20-25 knts and so we bypassed this site to go to better weather predicted to be the Axial Base site. We transited about 21 hrs to the base of Axial Seamount – indeed it was a bumpy ride! with blustery winds and white caps that the ship was beating into. We arrived onsite at 1330 and immediately conducted a CTD cast to verify instruments on the Shallow Profiler Mooring at this site. Dive 1058 is now underway to recover the instrumented Platform Interface Assembly from the mooring. Onward we go.