Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BATS 295 Day 5

Hi again from BATS! Yesterday was exciting with the recovery of the NBSTs, profiling floats and BATS sediment traps. Before we could start the recovery we first had to find them ... Luckily the sea was calm making the searching process slightly easier as the ocean is a very large place! The floats and sediment traps send location updates via satellite and radio so we know when we are in the right area but after that it’s down to lots of people searching with binoculars!

We first went in search of the floats… Once we had spotted them it was small boat time!!! (This is always very exciting!) Once the boat was in the water with Ronnie, Andrew and Meg on board they set off to pick up the floats.

Next stop PITS (the BATS sediment trap array)! PITS stands for Particulate Interceptor Trap System. It consists of three metal racks with tubes that collect falling particles from the upper ocean. The tubes have filters on the bottom which we remove and analyze when we return to land. The three racks are connected with rope and are at 300m, 200m and 150m depths. With Matt in charge of back deck operations we had the sediment traps back on board in no time. 

Finally we set off for the three NBSTs. These were slightly harder to find than the floats and it was David and Emily who managed to spot the floats! 
The NBST is in this picture... but you may need a magnifying glass to see  it!

We couldn’t pick them up in the small boat like the floats. Instead we threw a hook on a line to catch the string on the tops of the NBSTs and pull them in with the winch. 

Another picture to finish with!

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