Friday, October 1, 2010


Station 17
36° 41.372’ N, 73° 28.074’ W
02:20 EST
Winds: 37 knots, gusts to 45 knots
Sea Surface Temperature: 73°F

We are situated at the convergence of a tropical low-pressure center migrating Northward and a cold front marching Eastward. They act in concert to pitch 40 knot winds and 18 foot swells. We are rocking, cabinets are creaking, and waves intermittently slap the iron hull like cars hitting a barricade. We are holding station and our work is on hiatus. We only have a few days left to complete a rather ambitious agenda: 2 kilometers of sediment traps, multiple CTD casts, in situ pumping casts, and sediment coring.

When weather gets rough like this, the science party has three primary concerns: 1) securing samples and gear, 2) helping each other as needed, 3) and considering contingency plans that will maximize the scientific value of our limited time at sea. After that we can rest, lay down, and watch a movie while riding out the storm. We are lucky.

The crew of Atlantis is not. They do not go on hiatus when the seas are rough. Whether in the heat of the engine room or high on the bridge, they continue to keep us safe, healthy, and productive. Without them, oceanography would be purely theoretical. For all this and more, we are grateful to the crew of the R/V Atlantis. With their help, our science objectives will be met before steaming into port on Tuesday.

* For real-time marine conditions near Station 17, visit NOAA's National Buoy Data Center, Station 41001

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