Today has been busy. We finally began sampling this morning around 8 a.m. We had to move inshore because the seas were too rough to calibrate our pinger—the piece of equipment that helps us know exactly where, on the sea floor, our sampling apparatus has landed. We managed to get three samples done today but had some technical difficulties with the winch—its job is to lift the multi-corer in and out of the water. Without the winch, we can’t sample.
With the hydraulics for the winch on the fritz, we were forced to stop sampling early today. We ended the day exhausted and covered with mud but feeling really satisfied about finally getting to put in a good days’ work. (We are also all relieved that the sea sickness has subsided and we can enjoy ship meals properly again! Have we mentioned that our cook is a former cruise ship chef?)
We are constantly surrounded by a few dozen oil rigs and at one point came upon hundreds of birds feeding from a school of fish. We even managed to catch site of land for a little while this morning. The kinks are slowly getting worked out and we feel confident that sampling should go more smoothly tomorrow.