A Marine Educator At Sea

Sea Grant's Bill Hanshumaker chronicles ocean research missions

A Marine Educator At Sea

Tossed at Sea

July 15th, 2012 · 2 Comments · 2012 - R/V New Horizon, Recovery, Seismometers, weather

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It’s been another full day. We recovered the Abalone seismometer J65 slightly after midnight (00:10) from 165 meters of water. After moving north, the weather deteriorated. Offshore the Washington side of the Juan de Fuca strait the winds rose to more than 35 knots, coming in from the Northwest. The seas were high and steep, but we managed to recover YiM2 at 04:45 from 139 meters.:

The darkness added to the challenge, as you might expect. We cruised on to the next Abalone recovery site, but the sea conditions were too hazardous to attempt it. Instead, we continued moving north through the heavy weather.

Attempting to sleep in conditions such as these are difficult. The pitch and roll of the New Horizon keeps you awake, in spite of exhaustion. An added hazard is being tossed from your bunk to the metal deck. I placed my survival suit under the outer side of the mattress, creating somewhat of a solid hammock. To insulate myself, I put blankets between the bulkhead and my body. Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep:

Because of the weather and our reduced cruising speed, it took us until 13:50 to arrive at Y1M1. When we recovered this Abalone, it was covered with spiny sea stars. We recovered the fourth Abalone of the day (J73) at 17:46 from 143 meters.

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