Saturday, June 28, 2014

Final post from WB1413

First off, we have a contribution by Josie and Caroline (Eckerd College students). 

“There’s no daisies in the middle of the ocean” 

The morning of our ninth and final day of research was quite productive! We finished up the last watch, pulled the sonar towfish out of the water, broke everything down, and packed it all up- all before 10am. For a group of mainly twenty-somethings that’s not too shabby! That’s the one good thing about the 4-8watch -- the sunrises. This morning did not disappoint. It was by far the best of the voyage. 

Sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico on our last full day at sea. Photo Credit: Blake Borgeson

Spending 8 hours a day in a small little lab watching computers and making sure everything was working, you get quite close to the people you are with. Well our watch did at least. We’ve learned a lot about each other, the game of Hearts, and the bathometry of the ancient shorelines of the northern Florida continental shelf. We would definitely like to thank Dr. Stan Locker for bringing us all along for this cruise. We have our first cruise under our belts and hopefully many more to come. Also we’d like to give a huge thank the crew of the crew of the R/V Weatherbird II- it would not have been possible without these guys. 

Trying not to make this blog too sentimental and make it all daisies, unicorns, and rainbows, we did have a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves! Getting off the grid and away from reality for a bit wasn’t so bad. There certainly aren’t any daisies or unicorns out here but we certainly had a blast with Stan and the crew. We can honestly say that our first research cruise was a success!

Recovering the C3D sonar. (Photo credit, S. Locker)

The 4-8 watch. Left to right: Blake Borgeson, Trevor Browning,
Josie Hadfield, and Caroline Glenn. Photo Credit: Cathryn Wheaton

Josie Hadfield and Caroline Glenn 

So we have completed our work and are headed home. We were able to map significant areas of the northeast continental shelf margin that expands our understanding of benthic habitat distribution patterns. Data products will be transferred to the Deep-C data bank following final data processing. Ten CTD casts produced standard water column profiles from multiple sensors, plus a suite of filtered phytoplankton and nannoplankton samples for further research. Additionally, the Weatherbird II’s data collection systems that will be immediately transferred to the Deep-C data bank include the CTD profiles, raw EK60 sounder recordings, MET, ADCP, and navigation data. 

As this will be the final blog update for our cruise (WB-1413), I want to thank the science crew for their excellent effort, support, and great attitudes. Everyone was always asking if they could help. I really enjoyed their blogs and perspectives. 

Finally I want to thank Captain Baumeister (Boomer), Ryan, George, Chris, Thomas, Al, and Andrew, crew of the Weatherbird II, for making this trip safe and successful. This is a well-coordinated and capable team that is a pleasure to go to sea with. 

Science crew aboard the Weatherbird II, June 19-29, 2014. Left to right: Trevor Browning (USF), Chris Horruitine.(VSU & UF), Tiffani Dinkins (VSU) , Anastasia Nienow (VSU), Maggie Power(FSU), Rachael Kalin (EC), Stan Locker (Chief Scientist, USF), Cathryn Wheaton (USGS), Chelsea Kuhs (EC), Caroline Glenn (EC), Josie Hadfield (EC), Gipson Hawn (EC), and Blake Borgeson (EC). (Photo Credit: Al) USF – University of South Florida VSU – Valdosta State University FSU – Florida State University EC – Eckerd College USGS – U.S. Geological Survey

Stan Locker

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