Friday, October 21, 2011

BVAL 2011 with Dr. Mike Lomas

Dr. Mike Lomas, Chief Scientist aboard the 2011 BVAL cruise, takes time out of his hectic schedule to share his experiences on this year's expedition:

After an unscheduled steam back to Bermuda, things turned around for the better.  We spent the night of October 7th tied up to Penno's Wharf in St. George's enjoying a short break.  Bright and early on the 8th it was back to sea.  We steamed for nearly a day to get back to the next station on our transect from Bermuda to Puerto Rico.  When we arrived at the first station it was clear the less than ideal luck had not been left behind - the stern A-frame wasn't functioning.  With a minor change in plan we used the starboard A-frame to deploy our optical sensor package and it actually worked much better.  The cruise settled down after this and we started to get in a groove.  We were able to conduct our short 30km transects across convergent and divergent eddy interfaces, we occupied all the odd latitude stations that we had time left to occupy.  'Part 2' of the first leg of the cruise ended well.

BIOS Research Technicians and Interns hard at work on the aft deck.

We arrived in San Juan Puerto Rico at ~1600 on the 13th of October.  After tying up to the dock it was a short but anxious wait for U.S. Customs and Immigration officials to come by and clear us all off the ship.  Once done it was a mad dash to the cash machine and then on to WalMart to pick up some extra coolers for shipping back samples.  Due to it being rush hour the trip ended up being longer than it should have but in the end we headed back to the ship.  After a quick science meeting to hand the reins over to Steve Bell who would be the Chief Scientist for the 2nd leg returning to Bermuda, it was time to relax for a little bit and enjoy being on solid ground.

Waves crashing over the starboard gunwales during a CTD deployment.

The next morning, myself and several others left for the airport bright and early for the trip back home.  The afternoon of the 14th, the Atlantic Explorer started her steam home to Bermuda.  As luck would have, they had a following sea and beautiful weather and made great time.  In fact they made such great time they arrived back in port a day early.  Now the packing up is nearly done, samples have been sorted and arrangements made for all the ancillary research groups to get their gear back to their home institutions.  It's now Friday the 21st and the cruise is pretty much a wrap.

BIOS staff and international colleagues at the dock in Puerto Rico.
All photographs appear courtesy of Steve Pike from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Until we sail to Puerto Rico next year...

No comments:

Post a Comment