Final sunrise on the way back into Moss Landing Harbor:
I think I can speak for the whole group when I say that this workshop and cruise were an incredible experience. In just two days, we learned the ropes of how to propose and plan for a research expedition, and over the next four got to carry one out. We had five major pieces of equipment out there – the multicorer (here and here), gravity corer, CTD, MOCNESS, and Tucker Trawl, each of which were deployed numerous times to collect samples for our own research projects. In addition to these, there were instruments that sample currents and surface properties (temperature, salinity, etc.) while underway. Challenges arose– the multicorer sometimes came up empty, the MOCNESS nets got all tangled up, we had trouble transferring data off of one of the CTD instruments.
But challenges are the reality of conducting ship-based science- and we learned how to troubleshoot at sea, adjust the schedule to make best use of time, and work closely with the captain and crew to keep science and navigation needs well-coordinated. Our captain, Rick Verlini, was an absolute pleasure to sail with. The marine technicians, Stian Alesandrini and Cambria Berger, oversaw all operations, and were brilliant at problem-solving and communicating between the bridge and the science party. The food was amazing and plentiful, and all the crew engaging and helpful. The Pt. Sur is a beautiful ship, well-laid out for science operations with a spacious lab, and a comfortable galley (dining area). Our Chief Scientist and mentor, Kenneth Coale, is a true joy to sail with- he shared with us his many experiences as a chief scientist, was always there to lend a hand with operations, and provide guidance on decisions. Co-chief scientists Amy Wagner and Ryan Rykaczewski did a great job coordinating the schedule and accommodating the various science activities. Not only did we form new friendships, as naturally happens when in such close space as on a ship, but we anticipate new and perhaps unexpected collaborations to arise from this experience.
The next group of participants shows up at the ship tonight, and will take over the blog tomorrow. Thanks for following us!
Stian hooking the MOCNESS. Cambria prepping the gravity corer.
Kenneth looking over the plan for the day.
Photo credits: Amanda Netburn