One day I’m saying goodbye to the old science crew, the next day I’m saying hello to the new. It was a good time to catch up and rest. The crew, however, I’ve learned stay on for months and months. They are incredible while working constant watch rotations without a full day off.
As soon as we got into port, we started unloading all the Leg 3 gear. I got to help rig straps for cranes for moving all the heavy loads. But those heavy loads don’t begin to compare to the massive winches we loaded the next day for Leg 4.
The assets of the visions cruise keep getting bigger and bigger. We had the big crane out on the pier to help with those. Safety comes first as soon as we’re in port it’s time to wear masks again and take two COVID tests a day.
On September 6th It was surprisingly a nice warm sunny morning, which I heard is uncommon in Newport. We left port yet again and set off for Slope Base. The only location for the next two legs entirely devoted to the recovery and redeployment of the shallow profiler mooring. It only took four hours to get out there, but we ran into some poor weather conditions where we could not launch ROPOS. We sat around all day continually analyzing the conditions. We postponed the ROPOS dive until the after the mooring recovery. There is this nice dive index chart showing the roughness of weather conditions over the next couple weeks. The coming days were looking rough and were all averaging above the safe to dive line.
The next morning, we were off to the races. Many of the crew and science team located themselves to help on the back deck for recovering the shallow profiler mooring. We decided to go for it and send the call to the acoustic release at 08:50 of one leg, this would allow the mooring platform to surface. There was no turning back. We were locked into doing a whole day’s work to pull up the Electro-Optical Mechanical (EOM) leg.
I was camera man. With Kohya’s help we positioned ourselves best we could to film and take pictures of the whole recovery process. Some of the locations I previously scouted out became an issue due to high tension cables and line of site to the operator. But I found a way and I got the shots. Big thanks to Mitch Elend for letting me borrow his 4k video camera.