Thursday, June 26, 2014

Seafloor mapping the Madison Swanson and Twin Ridges area

We have worked our way back south to the Madison Swanson and Twin Ridges area and will work to fill in major gaps in seafloor mapping in this area. We have already found more paleoshoreline structures and pinnacles in this area -- excellent benthic habitat. 

Here are a few pictures of our lab set up and where we work. 

Typical scene on watch showing the various data acquisition displays.
The 12-4 watch standers are hard at work (left to right) Rachael Kalin,
Cathryn Weaton, Gipson Hawn, and Maggie Power. (Photo credit: S. Locker)

Further down the lab is the data processing computer for the sonar data where we produced final maps of the seafloor imagery. Also shown is the station for filtering water brought up by the CTD bottles. The filtering collects plankton on filter paper. Maggie (Wise lab at FSU) has plans to study the nannoplankton. The larger diatoms will be studied by the Nienow lab at Valdosta State. 

Data processing and water filtering stations: (left to right) Blake Borgeson
and Trevor Browning. (Photo credit: S. Locker)

View of the C3D sonar pole mount and the GPS antenna. The sonar head is located
about 8 feet below the surface. The CTD rosette (gray tubes) is to the right. June 26, 2014
– seas continue to be favorable. (Photo credit: S. Locker)

Also today we have another blog entry contributed by our student volunteers. 

Deep-C Blog Post 6/26 
By Chelsea Kuhs & Rachael Kalin 

Wheathergod I (WG I) and his adornment watching over the crew.
Editor’s note: WG I (the original) first went to sea off Key West
around 2009. Good weather follows. WG II adopted by other
researchers began assisting Deep-C and C-Image operations
a few years ago.)
So far on the Weatherbird II it has been smooth sailing for the crew and science party. Our watch, the 8-12 watch, has proven to be the best watch in that we get ample amounts of regular sleep and get to keep our eating schedule (much more of a Godsend than you would think). The morning started out for Rachael in getting to see the planet Venus rise with the moon around 5 am. In her words, “it was well worth waking up for!” After a short sleep following, we both woke up pretty late for breakfast, and sheepishly asked Thomas for some of what was left. The morning watch was pretty uneventful, but hey, that’s a good thing! We entertained ourselves by playing riveting games of candy crush, learning a new card game, spite & malice, and making friendship bracelet adornments for Weathergod I (to thank him for the good conditions),while also keeping a close watch on the systems of course. After our watch we enjoyed Taco Tuesday compliments of our great on-board chef, and relaxed in the air-conditioning of the galley. After, we took part in our daily mid-day nap, and woke up just in time for yet another great meal of salad, pork, and the best mashed potatoes since grandmas. With another visit from our friends, the bow riding dolphins, we retired back to the dry lab for our night shift. It again was on the uneventful side, but we made use of the time in doing a bit of organizing. Chelsea in fact accomplished organizing all her photo files on her computer. Stan also set up our lines for the rest of the night, and worked to save all files before heading off to bed. We had heard in the morning that after our watch ended, and we were fast asleep, the systems had crashed, losing up to 6 hours of important data. However, Trevor and Stan had worked hard through the night to get it back up and running and all was fine before our next morning watch began. All-in all, we have had a really great time. This is Rachael’s first cruise experience and she states “it’s been a blessing all has gone well and no sea-sickness! (knock on wood & thank you Weathergod I! )” In being Chelsea’s 4th time aboard USF vessels she states “this is becoming one of my top favorite trips so far.” Both of us would like to thank Deep-C and Stan for making this a possibility and look forward to other opportunities in the future. 

Post Submitted by:
Dr. Stan Locker

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