April 6, 2015

Just a quick update, and I am leaning on some of our wonderful international collaborators to chime in in the coming days. And Terry Britt has done a nice job setting this up from the beach! Keep coming back for updates, and I hope to also get a library of photos at some point either here or on a UTIG website.

We’re halfway through recovering our first profile, and we have a good rhythm going. When the UTIG team began our recovery last evening, it was just past dusk. Jenny and I with the help of our German colleagues Michaela and Rabea spotted the OBS, a dull spot on the horizon. “Isn’t there a light attached to it?” Rabea asked… turns out our OBS came up on their side obscuring the light! Remember how we had to do some hardware store improvisation after some things went missing from the shipment in KingP1030871_smallston? My bet is that our flags, fashioned from the True Value hardware store supplies, are the culprits for the rolling OBS, though this is a point of heated discussion.

Regardless, it was a lovely night standing on the upper deck, spotting dull specks in the rolling seas under the moonlight. In some cases I could observe the OBS come to the surface completely upright, and the data so far look a-ok, so no sweat. As dawn came we had completed our six recoveries, approaching about one per hour; the trick is to send the release command so they can start their hour-and-a-half ascent early enough so as not to waste time, but not too late or they could surface and be carried away by the current.

Time is of the essence at sea, and if we can keep this steady pace up we will complete the well over 100 OBS drops giving us our first glimpse into the deep Cayman Trough. Stay tuned!

– Nick

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