Weather is king

Weather rules supreme in maritime operations.  All plans are shaped around the forecast.  For the last week, we have been carefully monitoring forecasts that predicted a large storm would sweep through our field area on Sunday and Monday (Sept 20-21), bringing >45 mph winds and >20 ft seas.   In response, we decided to cut some of our planned ocean bottom seismometer deployments (painful!) in hopes we could complete our data collection and pick up all of the OBS before the brunt of the storm arrived.  Thanks to the perseverance and professionalism of everyone on board, we were able to do just that. Over the last ~8 hours in deteriorating conditions, we finished recovering all of the OBS. This required deft maneuvering by the bridge to navigate to each OBS and position the ship safely for deck work, and careful and skilled deck operations by the WHOI and Scripps OBS teams and Langseth’s crew to snag each OBS and bring it onboard. Kudos to everyone!  Now we are headed east to Dutch Harbor (and away from this storm!) to drop off our OBS teams and pick up fresh fruit and veg to sustain us for Part 2 of our expedition.

Donna Shillington NAU

Map of wind speed and direction from late on Saturday night as we finished OBS recoveries. The white star marks the approximate position of the R/V Langseth.

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