The R/V Oceanus sets sail once again

The crew on the R/V Oceanus left port today from San Francisco under a fortuitous blue sky. We are headed south to Point Sal and expect to arrive in the morning on Thursday. We plan to recover and re-deploy up to 8 moorings and 9 landers over the next five days, as well as continue surveys with the towed Mini-bat/Acrobat (fingers crossed that the kelp forests stay out of our way this time). We have a new instrument as well— a bow chain equipped with thermistors and two GusT’s (pressure readers for depth and turbulence).

Our departure marks the beginning of turnarounds for the long-term moorings and we are excited to get our hands on the data. We do not know what we will find when we make it to the first station tomorrow. Has our mooring “walked” away from its original location? Has any fishing activity inadvertently interacted with our surface buoy? Or is our mooring and its all parts bobbing where we left it last, instruments dutifully recording data?

We hope the last option, but we are prepared for whatever we find. We have fresh batteries and all hands on deck for the recoveries.

Speaking of the team, we have some new faces aboard. The group hails from Oregon State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the University of Miami. We have five research scientists, two graduate students, two technicians, one postdoc, one engineer, and lastly, one volunteer scientist/journalist (that’s me!). We also feel grateful for our MarTech and Oceanus crew.

Here are a few photos of our time on land, as well of us exiting the bay under the illustrious Golden Gate bridge.

Stay tuned to hear about mooring and landing recoveries.

— Jenessa Duncombe and the R/V Oceanus team

R/V Oceanus at sunrise with the San Francisco skyline in background

Engineer Sara Goheen readies the bowchain

Engineer Pavan Vutukur and Technician Marnie Jo Zirbel service the mini-bat instrument

The science team