Signs of life

20 September 2012 by Anonymous (not verified)

Guest post - Ben Barton (MSci. Oceanography - University of Southampton)

We've swapped some of the science team for an eager new bunch back at Falmouth, their stomachs have settled and now they're ready. We've steamed back to the PAP site to resume investigations, but before they could begin there have been plenty of distractions from dolphin and pilot whale sightings. The last of the instrumented moorings has been deployed successfully on the outer south-east corner of the mooring array. One of the surface guard buoys and more specifically the meteorological buoy, which lost communication with the satellite an hour and a half after deployment, appears to have had buoyancy failure and is sleeping with the fishes in Davey Jones' Locker.
Pilot whales off the starboard bow
Soon the short-term turbulence profiling glider will be released to soar through the ocean with the pilot whales. We've begun a system of watches in anticipation of taking samples from the several CTD casts and 25 straight hours of onboard turbulence profiling that will start this evening. The turbulence profiler measures the temperature and salinity in the same way as a CTD but is also fitted with shear probes. It is lowered through the water at freefall in a vertical position so the small patches of moving water can be detected without being disturbed. 25 hours of this will be a test of our commitment to the science.